Sunday rest and reflection–loving enemies!

Dear Friends,

Greetings on this day of rest!  One of the things that we as Christians can rest from is getting even!  The competitive spirit that is in our flesh is always looking for ways to get even or make someone who hurts us suffer.  The old saying “I don’t get mad, I get even” has caused lots of trouble over the years.

As I read through the Proverbs this week, I noticed several scriptures dealing with this ancient problem of getting even.  Proverbs 24:29 warns us not to say “I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did.” All vengeance belongs to God alone.  Only He knows the heart of a person well enough to properly reward or punish that person for their wrong actions.  God desires to forgive and heal the wrongs rather than judge anyone.

Proverbs 26:21-22 is another difficult scripture for us to understand and apply sometimes.  It tells us to act in kindness toward our enemies and try to meet their needs.  If they are hungry we are to feed them and if they are thirsty we are to give them something to drink.  Our acts of kindness is likened to heaping burning coals on our enemy’s head.  This purposeful acting in love will bring the notice of God and He will reward us.  It will also possibly produce a repentance and healing with our enemy whereas if we got even, we would only prolong the battle and bad attitudes would continue.

Jesus Christ perfectly exhibited this healthy attitude toward those who hated him.  He purposely forgave them and asked God to forgive them.  He taught His disciples to love their enemies and do good to those who would despitefully use them.  (Matthew 5:43-48)  Some of His final words were “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  (Matthew 23:34)  These words exemplify the teaching of Jesus Christ and the love of the Father for those caught in sin and bondage!  What love is this toward those who acted so hatefully!

May we be filled with the same love today for those who hate us and would despitefully use us!  This kind of love comes from the heart of God by the Holy Spirit!  Take time and ask God to fill you again with His love for the lost and for our enemies!  God bless you in the coming week!  In His Love, Pastor John

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