Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pastor's Pondering, December 26, 2017

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

In a climatic scene of the 1991 American action gangster film, New Jack City, a sobbing Gerald "Gee Money" Wells weeps and asks his former partner in crime, Nino Brown, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  After he quickly kills him, Nino says, “Yes.”  The obvious follow up question is then why not act like it?  This question has been asked repeatedly since after the fall from the Garden of Eden, when Cain replied to God when asked about his brother Abel whom he had just killed (Genesis 4:8-9). 

As men and women of God, we have a responsibility to help maintain the standard of moral excellence and holiness among our brothers and sisters.  We ought to be able to answer the question that God asks us, “Where is your brother?” As individuals, we may fail and exhibit weaknesses, but when we are willing to expose ourselves to each other in moral accountability, we can help them help us (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11). 

The Bible says that the strong ought to follow Christ’s example and bear the weakness of others by building them up (Romans 15:1-3).  When we are willing to say to our accountability partners, “I have a problem in this area, give me a hand, support me, pray for me, but don’t simply excuse me,” it demonstrates that we will not be supporters of personal racism, sexism, homophobia, or putting down others while calling ourselves, lovers of God.

Love does not excuse others sins, but also not gleefully expose others because love covers many of our sins (1 Peter 4:8).  Sometimes we have to exhibit tough love to others and remind them that while man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on our hearts. If we all want to go together to live with Christ throughout eternity, He requires holiness (1 Peter 1:16). 

Therefore, as we go into the 2018, let us remember that we want to demonstrate, through our lives, the scripture that God is able to keep us from falling (Jude 24) by helping to keep each other from falling into sin and to be able to present ourselves faultless before God.

Therefore, yes, we are our brother’s keeper.

Genesis 4:8-9
New International Version (NIV)
8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11
New International Version (NIV)
10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Romans 15:1-3
New International Version (NIV)
1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”

1 Peter 4:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 1:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.

Jude 24
King James Version (KJV)
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

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