Word Wednesday-Turning the other Cheek

To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:29 ESV

From my days in Bible college I still remember a message from Costa Deir, who was one of the more popular professors among us guys. Maybe we liked him because Costa had been a young professional boxer and grew up in the Middle East. His stories which both both intrigued and challenged us but were also sprinkled with a bit of humor. One day he related that after becoming a Christian he soon led another young boxer to faith in Jesus Christ. The story went that when their friends and fellow fighters heard of this they ridiculed them, especially about today’s verse. The day came when one of the others slapped him hard on one side of his face just to see how he would react. Quietly the young man turned his face just in time for a second blow to land. Then stepping back the newly converted boxer put his fists up and said in a calm voice, “I have no further instructions!”

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by this command or how to put it into practice? I sure have! And while I won’t pretend to have all the answers, I believe we might begin by how we respond to being provoked on social media. There are some things being slung around on the news, talk shows and even football games for crying out loud that really irritate me! I have become more patient as I have grown older but scratch the surface just a bit and I want to assume that boxer’s stance myself and shout, “I have no further instructions!” It’s a good thing for all of us that Jesus did not. When this manly young carpenter, was blindfolded and bound and soldiers were striking Him on the face, He stood strong and took our punishment as silently as a lamb. He knew something that His enemies did not. He knew that by laying down His life He would not only find it again but that He would be able to give life to anyone even a dying thief, if they would put their trust in Him!

God Isn’t Finished Yet

When things aren’t going swimmingly
And skies don’t look so blue
Remember that the Lord’s still working
And that He isn’t through

Down in our hearts rock hard with sin
His grace is pouring through
To soften us till soft like clay
His hands can make us new

And put in place of brag and boast
A meek and gentle word
And instead of angry shouts
HIs praises will be heard

No, He’s not done and there’s a pile
Of things He’s changing still
But don't give up - hold on to Him
 He is leading up the hill

To where we'll hear our Savior say
If we will just believe
And let go of all our past
It is finished! - Come with me!

When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30 NLT

God isn't Finished Yet by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2022 all rights reserved

Photo by Brian de Karma on Pexels.com

Poured Out

Poured Out

I am poured out like water and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax it is melted in the midst of my bowels. Psalm 22:14 KJV

As a teenager I always loved the Christmas presents I got from my stepmother Amy. She bought me beautiful expensive clothes, but she always left the price tag on! It was not that she minded spending the money, but she wanted to be sure that I treated her gifts with special care! In some ways God is a lot like Amy. God loves lavishing us with His grace, but He wants us to know the cost.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said that His soul was sorrowful unto death. He agonized in prayer in order to accept the suffering of the cross. He asked if there was any other way and then sweat ran down His face like great drops of blood. Just hours after He had finished praying, Jesus was nailed to the cross. Today’s Bible verse tells us that He was poured out like water. The spear pierced His side and then the last drop of the lifeblood of Jesus flowed down to the ground. What a price He paid for us! Let’s be grateful to God for His blessings and treasure more greatly the gift we are given, by remembering the price that He paid.