Portraits of Gratitude
Portrait of Our Gracious God
Stewardship: οικονομος — manager; caretaker; people, business, treasurer, Gospel, grace, pastor.
- Comprehensive term; comprehensive approach; way we give ourselves.
- We give voluntarily out of our gratitude to God.
Profile of God-like Love:
The Highest Level:
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." — Luke 6:27-31
Giving the Way We Wish Others Would Give
The Standard: Give the Way We Wish Others Would Give to Us
“This is 'tough love' because it is tough on the believer who loves. It is “radical love” because it calls for denying oneself and being continually exposed to abuse. It is a love not of power, manipulation or arrangement but of service and meekness.”— Darrell L. Bock
- Love your enemies: context is when people hate us because we love Son of Man (Luke 6:22)
- Do good to those who hate you.
- Bless those who curse you – they call curses on us; we call blessings on them.
- Pray for those who mistreat you – insults; despitefully use you.
- If slapped, turn the other cheek.
- If he takes your coat, give your shirt too.
- Give to all who ask, without asking for it back.
Golden Rule: Do to others (people) as you would have them (people) do to you (v. 31)
Profile of World-like Love:
The Lowest Level:
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full." — Luke 6:32-34
- What kind of grace is that to you?
- If you love those who love you – Even sinners have this type of love.
- If you do good to people who do good for you – Even sinners have this type of behavior.
- Lending and expecting repayment – Even sinners lend to sinners.
Reprise of His Song of Love:
"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." — Luke 6:35-37
But Love your enemies
- Do good to them
- Lend to them without expecting a return
- Your reward will be great
- You will be children of the most High – Lk 1:32
- Designation Jesus deserves! Rom 8:14-17;
Why? Because God is kind/benevolent to
- the ungracious
- the wicked (evil, morally corrupt)
Main Point: “Be merciful, just like your father is merciful!”
When we practice the Golden Rule.
When we practice being merciful like God is merciful.
Then we are in position to advance to application of mature Christian living.
Application of Merciful Love:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." — Luke 6:37
- Do not judge and you won’t be judged (by God)
- Judge: “to pass judgement on lives, actions of others”
- Do not condemn and you won’t be condemned (by God)
- Jury: “to render a verdict of guilt on lives, actions of others”
- Forgive and you will be forgiven (by God)
- "The focus is on the guilt of the wrongdoer, not the event of wrong doing." — Johannes Louw & Eugene Nida.
"If you have an ought, leave your gift at the altar and be reconciled with your brother."
"I require obedience rather than sacrifice."
The Golden 3, in position to be free not to judge, hold a grudge, but imitate the character of God Himself. Then, then we are free to give.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” — Luke 6:38
- Greatest Giver (God),
- Greatest Love (so loved the world)
- Greatest gift (His Son),
- Greatest faith (believe on him),
- Greatest Life (eternal life).
He invites you to come to Him!