Morning Reading for March 7

Matthew 5:38-48
Suggested further reading: John 13:31-35

There is much in all this which calls loudly for solemn reflection. There are few passages of Scripture so calculated to raise in our minds humbling thoughts. We have a lovely picture of the Christian as he ought to be. We cannot look at it without painful feelings. We must all allow that it differs widely from the Christian as he is. Let us carry away from it two general lessons.

In the first place, if the spirit of these ten verses were more continually remembered by true believers they would recommend Christianity to the world far more than they do. We must not allow ourselves to imagine that the least words in this passage are trifling or of small moment. They are not so. It is attention to the spirit of this passage which makes our religion beautiful. It is the neglect of the things which it contains which makes our religion deformed. Unfailing courtesy, kindness, tenderness and consideration for others are some of the greatest ornaments to the character of the child of God. The world can understand these things if it cannot understand doctrine. There is no religion in rudeness, roughness, bluntness and incivility. The perfection of practical Christianity consists in attending to the little duties of holiness as well as to the great.

In the second place, if the spirit of these ten verses had more dominion and power in the world how much happier the world would be! Who does not know what quarrellings, strifes, selfishness and unkindness cause half the miseries by which mankind is visited? Who can fail to see that nothing would so much tend to increase happiness as the spread of Christian love, as here recommended by our Lord? Those who fancy that true religion has any tendency to make men unhappy are greatly mistaken. It is the absence of it that does that, and not the presence. True religion makes men happy because it promotes peace, love, kindness and goodness.

For meditation: There is a dangerous tendency to point men away from the example of our own lives when they want a proof of Christianity. Our lives, however, are supposed to be living testimonies to our faith (John 13:35).

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ