Phil Us Up!
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April 2, 2013, 1:18 PM

Do What?


 

   Reading God’s word is easy, understanding  is, well is another thing. When my son Paul was a freshman in college one of his Bible teachers required each member of class to memorize the Sermon on the Mount. If my math is correct, its 2360 words in the NIV. Now that would be hard for me to do, but memorizing is sometimes easier than understanding.

   At the end of Matthew 5 Jesus teaches some of those easy to memorize words, but hard to understand and even harder to do. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” Do what? Well I do pray for them, I ask God to do whatever is needed to bring my enemies around to my way of thinking! In fact I really don’t find that too hard to do! Maybe I’m not praying the right prayer, (that’s another article), but then He says, “Love your enemies.” Do what? What do you think He means by that? Jesus says it’s easy to love those who are like us, and love us! He uses the example of God the Father blessing all people even evil people, with sunshine and rain. Then it gets hard, “follow God’s example.” It’s hard to treat people we just  know are enemies of God with respect and grace.  Jesus calls on us to not only to pray for them, but to pour blessings out just like God does with the sunshine and rain. The thought is for us to wish our enemies the very best!

   The Apostle Paul would write in Romans 12,

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” I think Paul is helping us understand what Jesus really meant. When Jesus says “Love your enemies” He doesn’t mean tolerate them, or condemn them, He says pray for them and bless them! Why? Well maybe we will win a few over for the cause of Christ! That is exactly what God does for us in Christ Jesus! God overcomes OUR EVIL with the goodness of Jesus Christ!

   We will never overcome evil with condemnation and persecution. We will only overcome evil with good. Maybe we should do what Jesus says. Do what?

Philip              

  


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