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Daily Meditations

from the book -

The Daily Devotional

for the 21st Century!

 

Today's subject: CHARACTER

 

Titles under this subject-

Holy Excuses-Jan 4

His Dictate my Delight!-Jan 5

Holy Life a Jolly Life!-Jan 6

Pure for Sure!-Jan 7

Brand new Being!-Jan 8

In & Out!-Jan 13

God or Gad?-Feb 4

Bone Cancer-Mar 16

Slander a Blunder!-Apr 30

Taming the Tongue-May 13

Clear the Fear!-May 26

Sword for Sword!-Jun 14

Vertical and Horizontal-Jun 25

Speck or Plank?-Aug 4

WWJD-Sep 9

Dead to Dread!-Sep 28

No one like Him!-Oct 8

Onion & Garlic-Oct 23

Better Together!-Nov 1

Third World War-Nov 2

Holy! Holy! Holy!-Nov 5

Humblest the Greatest!-Nov 12

Guttermost to Uppermost!-Nov 15

Dear Enemies!-Dec 2

Against the Tide!-Dec 3

Root & Fruit-Dec 27

(D)anger!-Dec 28

 

(General Index of  Subjects)

 

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Vertical and Horizontal


Reading: James 3:8-18.

"Love your neighbour as yourself" (Mt 22:39)


 

A son was dragging his father to an old age home. When they reached a bridge the father started crying uncontrollably. When the son asked why, the father answered, "Several years back I dragged my father exactly like this over this bridge!" Ours is an inconsiderate society.

Arguments and fights have become the birthright of Christians. We are not concerned about the health of our brothers and sisters, the problems of our colleagues, the financial needs of God's servants and the needy. We justify ourselves saying, "I am alright with God."

When the self-righteous lawyer asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heartůsoulůmind." As far as the questioner was concerned the answer was complete. Not so with Jesus. He went on to say, "And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (Mt 22:35-39). The religious Pharisees of that day forgot their duty to man in their zeal to fulfil their duty to God. Walking in love with one another is the other side of offering sacrifices to God (Eph 4:3-12).

Vertical relationship with God is not acceptable if the horizontal relationship with people is not alright. It is contradictory for a worshipping tongue to go wrecking someone with malicious words (Js 3:9). "He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" John restates the answer Jesus gave the lawyer, "He who loves God must love his brother also" (1 Jn 4:20,21).

Here lies the reason why Jesus insisted on "first" reconciling with an offended brother before offering gifts to God (Mt 5:23,24). Reconciliation involves humility and self-denial. It is difficult. America's great revivalist Charles Finney (1792-1875) always emphasized reconciliation with man. 

Only a very few of his converts went astray. One more hour of praise can become an easy substitute for going the second mile. But such worship is void of fragrance. God loathes it. Respect for man is the other side of fear of God (Lk 18:2,4). Think of a coin without imprint on any one side!

The Gospel is the Message of the Cross. The vertical staff of the Cross speaks of man's relationship with God, and the horizontal that with fellowmen. Have we experienced the full blessing of the Cross?

 


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