"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

If you do not actively love your enemies, you can not love God.

I tried for 10 minutes to get on my email homepage this morning to read my usual "Girlfriends in God" e-devotion. It is my favorite of all of my go-to devotions to start my day. This morning it just wasn't working. I could go everywhere else on the web, but not my email (still cannot). So I decided rather reluctantly to read today's devotion from my hard copy of "365 Devotions" for June 9 (just realized I thought it was for the 9th, but actually the 10th). Anyhow it is certainly a word from God.

It follows up my thoughts on yesterdays post. The verse for the day is: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18). The devotion continues on to say, "While we automatically think of this as serving others and meeting their needs, active love also means turning the other cheek, forgiving an offense, surrendering our agenda for the sake of unity. And when a Christian brother wrongs me, I must not spread a bad report to other believers."

How easy it is to look at other church family members or Christian and complain because they are not doing things like you would, or as much as you, or working as hard as you in let’s say teaching Sunday school, or VBS, or whatever other ministry we could be involved in? We can nit-pick till the cows come home, but is this love or entertaining discord?

I talked yesterday about noticing when my neighbor needs a burden lifted, but I never mentioned noticing in my own behavior when a unloving sentiment is thriving, or when I am refusing to humble myself and forgive unconditionally someone who has wronged me. Forgiveness should be unconditional. It doesn't matter for how long a person has been hurting you or a loved one; you have to forgive them if you want to see Jesus. I don't think this means letting a criminal child molester back into the school zone, but it does mean (even if it was your child) to let that person of the hook in your heart. Stop despising the person and try to realize they are in bondage to Satan. They are a victim of Satan not Satan himself. Pray for your enemies like they are victims so that they will be freed from the bondage of their sin.

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to anyone who asks of you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you, Luke 6:27-31.

Verse 31 was one of the verses I used yesterday, but I suppose by taking the verse out of context and using just the one verse, I did not create the whole picture of what love is. How American is it to teach our kids to fight back if someone hits them? I think these words spoken by Jesus are very clear in what they mean. I don't think there are exceptions to the rule.

If this is love, remember 1 John 4: 7&8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is love. If you do not love your friends and enemies you can not love God.

Lord, I know there are times when I get aggravated at others when they offend me, despise me or mistreat me. Lord, teach me your ways of humbling myself before them in the midst of the drama. Let me not fight back and let me only speak in Truth and love. I do realize asking for Your help here is probably going to present itself as an opportunity for me to practice this behavior, so be with me as You teach me today and as I pray this prayer, help me to be a fast learner!

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