From the Word: 5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people censure you, and persecute you, and say everything evil against you dishonestly, because of me. 12 Rejoice and be elated, since your reward in heaven is great, for they similarly persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:5–12)
From the Confessions: The Small Catechism – part 75
The Fifth Commandment
You shall not kill.
What does this mean?
We should fear and love God so that we do our neighbors no bodily harm nor cause them any suffering, but help and befriend them in every need.
Pulling It Together: The temptation is to lash out, to retaliate, to pay back. But that is not Jesus’ way, though he was tempted. When he was criticized and even beaten, Jesus could have called down legions of angels to defend himself (Matt 26:53), but he did not retaliate. He did not even open his mouth in defense (Matt 26:63; Mark 14:61; 1 Ptr 2:23). Following in his example, we are to regard those who despise and insult us as our neighbors. We are to pray for such people (Matt 5:43–48), even aid them with food and water (Rom 12:20). In other words, we are to love them by showing them the same basic considerations we would desire. This is not an easy response, but it is the righteous one. It is the meek response of Jesus, and so it must be the same for his followers. There is great satisfaction and peace in knowing this is God’s will, that Christ will demonstrate his power in our weakness (2 Cor 12:9), and that there is reward in heaven for obedient children of the Father.
Prayer: Give me the courage to follow you, Lord. Amen.
Click here for resources to learn the Ten Commandments.
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Sola’s Word of Life series is a resource for those looking to develop small groups built around the Word of God. This model of small-group ministry is an excellent tool for evangelism since it is rooted in prayer and Scripture. Its primary focus is to empower those who believe in Jesus Christ to be comfortable sharing their faith and inviting others to experience a transformed life in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Meant for use in small group gatherings, each of the six sessions in Dwell in My Love is based on a primary Scripture text, with intentional time for reflection. There are questions, prayer, faith sharing, and mini evangelism case-studies. The series would be helpful for those involved in starting a Bible study fellowship, house church, or mission congregation. It can also be used by established congregations to aid in establishing a small group ministry.