How to React to the Enemy; Our Calling

How to React to the Enemy; Our Calling

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.  (Mat 5:44)

Jesus is speaking in this passage.  This Scripture goes completely contrary to our carnal nature as well as to “man’s wisdom.”  This passage demonstrates the nature of Jesus—and He is our shining example. 

We’re directed to love our enemies; bless people who curse us; do good to those who hate us; and pray for those who abuse and persecute us.  These things are impossible to do without the grace of God, and without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

Since Jesus and His Father are united in nature, purpose, and love, those who have known Jesus have also known the Father!  Here are Bible passages that demonstrate and support this concept:

  1. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen”  (John 14:7)
  2. Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  (John 14:9)
  3. God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high . . . (Heb 1:1-3)

So in reading the Scripture at the top of this article (Mat 5:44), we understand that Jesus is teaching us how to respond to and deal with our enemies—those who spitefully use us.  When we obey His instructions, we are following Jesus’ example to us.  We’re also proving that we are His disciples and followers.

As Jesus’ followers, these are the instructions that we must follow (our “to do” list):

  • And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.  (Mat 10:1)
  • And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.  (Mat 28:18-20)
  • Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (Lk 9:1-2)

So we know how to treat our enemies, and we also know what directives Jesus gave to us.  These show us our true calling!  May our God bless you abundantly as you live each day in obedience to His call upon your life.

Do You Want Wisdom?

Do You Want Wisdom?

Who is wise?  Let him understand these things.  Who is prudent?  Let him know them.  For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them.  But transgressors stumble in them.  (Hos 14:9)

To be wise, we must seek to understand God’s precepts and ways.  Understand means to perceive the intended meaning of His Words and His ways.  Another definition states that to understand means to apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of something. 

Therefore, in order to be wise in God’s sight, we will clearly apprehend the character, nature, and subtleties of God’s Words and His ways—and His personality. 

If you don’t feel that you’ve arrived just yet at that place, then study passages from the Bible every single day.  Meditate upon what you’ve read.  Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding and to give you wisdom.  He will answer your prayers.

He will open the eyes of your understanding and give you revelations into the Word of God and into God’s loving nature.  Hallelujah! 

Truth & Love Are Bound Up in Jesus

Truth & Love Are Bound Up in Jesus

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:32)

Jesus is the Truth!  (Joh 14:6) He is the One who sets people free from sin, sickness, and death.  (Rom 8:2)  He IS perfect and unending love.  (1 Joh 4:8)  Jesus is the image of the invisible God.  (Col 1:15)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (Joh 14:6) 

. . . if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus . . .   (Eph 4:21, underlining added)

Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.  (2 Joh 1:3, underlining added)

When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we invite perfect love into our lives.  Glory to God! 

We receive The Truth into our lives, and we welcome God, the Healer, to dwell within us!  (Ex 15:26)  Truth and love enter our lives when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  These are spiritual truths to rejoice over and to meditate upon until they become our reality! 

Trust the Lord

Trust the Lord

The fear of man brings a snare [trap, pitfall, deception, trick, entanglement].  But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. [secure; literally, set on high]  Many seek a ruler’s favor [face, good opinion], but justice for man comes from the Lord.  (Prov 29:25-26, emphasis added)

Justice means fairness, uprightness, integrity, reparation, compensation, payment, or remuneration.

Only God can provide justice for mankind in any situation or circumstance.  The Lord loves it when we’re dependent upon Him and His Word.  He wants us to rely upon Him, and to trust Him in all situations.  (See Ps. 9:9; 46:1, 11; 32:7; 119:114; 144:2)

So, instead of trying to find favor with some banker or friend, turn your heart and mind to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Trust in Him.  Ask Him to help you, deliver you, and rescue you.  He will not fail you, because the Word of God reminds us that the Lord is faithful.  (2 Thess 3:3)

A Very Present Help

A Very Present Help

God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1, emphasis added)

God is our refuge. (Ps 9:9; 28:8; 46:7; 62:7)  A refuge is a safe shelter or hiding place.

He is also our strength.  (Ex 15:2; Num 23:22; 1 Chron 29:12; Ps 18:1-2, 32, 39; 19:14)  God wants us to depend upon His strength and not our own.  Our needs, weakness, and lack showcase God’s power.  They reveal to us that we need God.

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.  (Isa 40:29)  It’s important to remember that as we proceed through tough times, heartaches, and challenges, God is always with us and He is always working on our behalf. 

What is a “very present help”?  It is an instant, immediate, and on-the-spot manifestation of God’s presence!

Did you know that when the Bible speaks of “helper” or “help,” it is almost always talking about the Lord?  This was a huge revelation to me!  If you check out these Bible verses, you’ll see that God’s idea of “helper/help” is exceedingly different from ours.

  • Exodus 18:4
  • Deuteronomy 33:7, 26, 29
  • Psalms 33:20; 70:5; 115:9-11; 121:1-2; 124:8; 146:5
  • Hosea 13:9
  • Hebrews 13:6

The Word of God is our authority on the subject that God is our help!  (Ps 46:1)

“With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”  (2 Chron 32:8)

You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God.  (Ps 40:17)  Thank You, Lord, for being my help in all situations, circumstances, and times!

The Nature of Love

The Nature of Love

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love NEVER FAILS.  (1 Cor 13:4-8a, emphasis added)  This is “agape” love.

The verse shown above tells us a lot about the nature of love.  I believe this topic is worth meditating upon.

LOVE is never:

  • Envious [jealous, covetous, grudging].
  • Boastful; it doesn’t brag.
  • Prideful; concerned with self; defensive; or sulking.
  • Rude [offensively impolite or ill-mannered].
  • Easily angered, provoked or moved to rash words or unwise actions.
  • Resentful, keeping a record of a person’s wrongdoings.
  • Joyful concerning the vices of others.

Here is LOVE in action; love . . .

  • Is longsuffering [patient, forbearing, tolerant, uncomplaining].
  • Is kind [withholds whatever is harmful, but bestows whatever heals].
  • Seeks the will of God rather than its own will.
  • Rejoices in the truth—meaning Biblical truth.
  • Bears all things, or covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet 4:8); it protects other people and their reputations.
  • Believes all things—is trusting—is ready to give someone else the benefit of the doubt and to allow for extenuating circumstances.
  • Hopes all things: love refuses to take failure as final, either in oneself or in someone else. Love never gives up on people. Just like God never gives up on us.
  • Endures all things: The word “endures” is a military term that means to hold a position at all costs, even unto death, whatever it takes.  So love holds fast to people it loves. It perseveres. It never gives up on anyone. Love won’t stop loving, even in the face of rejection. Love takes action to shake up an intolerable situation. Love looks beyond the present to the hope of what might be in the future.

Agape love is defined as:  Unconditional love. The love that God has for EVERYONE!! The love that put Jesus up on the cross to die for all of our sins. The love that will never die. The love that is meant to be spread. The love that God desires us to have for everyone, not just for Him. 

(Definition Sourcehttp://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Agape)

Understand that God loves each and every one of us with agape love.  He would like us to love everyone else on earth with the same kind of love that He bestows upon each one of us.  So, this is definitely a subject worthy of our prolonged contemplation.  Blessings upon you.

God’s Love for Us: UNCONDITIONAL!

God’s Love for Us: UNCONDITIONAL!

. . . whom having not seen [known] you love.  Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.  (1 Pet 1:8-9)

Just think of it!  We have already received the salvation of our souls.  Glory to God in the highest.

God has provided His perfect salvation to us freely—at no cost to us.  The Lord loves each one of us unconditionally!  I had a kind-hearted Pastor friend tell me that he wasn’t sure if my statement that God loved us unconditionally was Biblically accurate!  I didn’t debate it with him, but I have done some serious research into this topic, and I’ll share a little of that research here.

  • But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8 ESV)
  • He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8, emphasis added)
  • Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7 ESV, emphasis added)
  • There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” (Mat 5:43-47 ESV)
  • And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
  • And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet 4:8)

These Bible verses represent only a small handful of the number of passages that discuss or refer to love in general, and to God’s love for mankind, in particular.  Each passage clearly indicates that the nature of love is that it is unconditional—not subject to any conditions!

The word unconditional means:   wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unmitigated, and unquestioning. 

Each one of these synonyms perfectly describes the love of God for each and every human being on earth.  That is why He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to become our Savior, Deliverer and Redeemer!  I have no doubt in my heart or my mind that God loves each and every one of us unconditionally!  Rejoice in His great love for you.  Hallelujah!