Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Equal Yoke

Grace is an equal yoke. It is the right partnership. It is the basis for a right relationship.

"My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger, if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor. Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber; save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the hand of the fowler. Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." - Proverbs 6:1-6 ESV

A neighbor becomes a stranger once you cosign that loan. Why? You have just put money up based on their performance. You are saying, 'I trust that you will jump through the hoops.' and that has real relationship killing potential.

Grace creates an open passage for ministry and fellowship.

"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" - 2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV

It is interesting that Jesus was born into a carpentry family. It was a sales and service environment.

'Would you like to buy these benches?' --- Money changes hands
'I can build that for you?' --- An amount is agreed upon and money changes hands

That is the kind of interaction where ministry can easily take place. Things don't have to be reciprocal. They can be very one sided and no enslavement will take place.

Partnership on the other hand must be 'grace based' or the person will become a stranger. That is why someone without faith is a bad business partner for someone who does believe. Business has an impersonal element that can quickly enter in that will demand a victim.

"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." - Ephesians 4:28 ESV

"We labor, working with our own hands." - 1 Corinthians 4:12a ESV

"And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil." - Luke 6:34-35 ESV

This keeps the footing equal.

"And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account." - Hebrews 4:13 ESV

You give an account for your life to God and I give an account to God for mine. You are not beholden to me and I am not beholden to you. Willing to transact. Willing to give. We can be neighbors and friends because we have an attitude of grace.


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