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This  is a word from Pastor Timothy Burdick, Minister of Abilities for Friday Study Ministries:

Respecting Others

"he who is not against us is on our side"
(Luke 9:40)

The followers of Jesus had seen someone they did not know who was casting out demons. When John told Jesus that they had tried to stop him, Jesus responded with the words found in this week's Scripture: ďhe who is not against us is on our side

I would suggest to you that all of us can learn from what Jesus told His disciples that day. I was raised in churches that claimed to share the love of Christ, but had zero tolerance for people who didnít practice their faith in precisely the same way they did. While doctrine is very important, our practices should always be tempered with love.

Let me give you an example that illustrates what I mean. I was taught that we should baptize by immersion in water, in obedience to Christ. While I still very much believe in immersion, if a brother or sister practices pouring or sprinkling, isn't showing love to that person a higher form of obedience than just insisting I am right?  Respecting others is a way to love them.

This story left a deep impression on me: In prison, in another country, believers had been locked up for their faith. They got one cup of water a day and there wasn't enough water to baptize by immersion. They would all take turns saving their cup of water, and when a cellmate came to faith in Christ they would pour their own water over the new believerís head.

In light of the above, try to be less judgmental today and show forth the love of Christ as you go out into the world. Let Godís love be your guide in everything, for the New Testament tells us that the love of Christ is the greatest quality that we can possess.

Contact: Pastor Timothy Howard Burdick

Friday Study Ministries
www.FridayStudy.org
www.FirstChurchOnTheNet.org

 

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