Monday, December 5th, 2016
Do Gooders (Part 20)
Love Their Enemies
You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)
If forgiving brutes is a master course, then loving them is like a PhD: perhaps the highest learning achievement. Jesus originated the degree and no one can equal His expertise, but He did call His students to follow: to understudy Him through His Spirit.
In one of God's favorite ironies, kids carry honorary doctorates in this most challenging field of study. But as they age and worldliness rises, most must must re-enroll in primary school and work like saints to regain lost wisdom. Maturing believers must pass tough tests.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you're like substitute teachers, filling in for Christ while He's away, consider some curriculum notes:
1. You cannot teach what you do not know. Study Jesus from start to finish. Rehearse how He handled everything, including those who put Him to death.
2. The step beyond forgiveness is love. You don't have to feel love to give love. Love is an action verb called blessing. This act transforms givers and takers.
3. Christians aren't called to an easy love. It won't make your B.O.L. credits.* You must example a harder love. Once done, you will stand out from the world.
4. To love your enemies is so rare... the world can't help but pay attention. You'll win fans and draw people to Christ. Even your foes may see Him in you.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: To perform this act necessitates the highest degree of godliness. Perhaps like me, you are not there yet. But let's not drop out of this top course, because Christ will help us perfect it--and our enemies need to be loved.
To Be Continued...
* The names of saints going to Heaven are written in Book of Life or Lamb's Book of Life.
* Short article: What is the Book of Life? https://gotquestions.org/book-of-life.html
* Our works on earth will be measured and judged by God. References include: http://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/3-13.htm; http://biblehub.com/ecclesiastes/12-14.htm; http://biblehub.com/2_corinthians/5-10.htm
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Do-Gooders series.