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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’s promises’


Matthew 5:43-48: Love for Enemies

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

You have heard that it was said, “Love your friends, hate your enemies.” But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven.

This is possibly the most difficult of all Jesus’ teachings to grasp.

For God makes the sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil.

This is likely the most puzzling instruction for humans to take in.

Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that!

This is perhaps the toughest schooling we experience when we respond to the Spirit’s call.

And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

This is conceivably the highest barrier, the widest chasm, the deepest gulf we traverse in our journey with Christ.

When we feel hatred rise, we turn to the Spirit. When we sense the burgeoning of our innate desire for revenge, we trust God alone. When we search for the wisdom we need to understand the beauty of these verses, we rely on our brother Jesus to teach us what we must know.


When we compare varying translations of these words, we school ourselves in the exquisitely unique promise and love of Christ. When we experience the love that calls mercy from harm, we experience the promises of Jesus. 

For more posts on the concept of Revenge, enter the word into the blog search bar and explore. 

Images from: https://envisionmediaglobal.com/zion/2017/10/10/love-your-enemies/ and https://www.mickeyellison.com/love-enemies-world-needs-jesus/

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Acts 13:44-52: Wild with Jealousy

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Johann Heisse: Paul and Barnabas in Lystra

We have visited this reading before and we do well to visit it again. The themes are vitally important to us.

Some of the Jews, seeing the crowds, went wild with jealousy and tore into Paul, contradicting everything he was saying, making an ugly scene.

Whether we are the Jews, the Christians or the Gentiles . . . we must guard against jealousy and the ugly scenes this negative emotion brings.

But Paul and Barnabas didn’t back down. Standing their ground they spoke.

Like Paul and Barnabas . . . we must remain in Christ, trust God, and live in the Spirit so that we might share the healing message of the Good News.

All who were marked out for real life put their trust in God—they honored God’s Word by receiving that life. 

Like those who heard the good news of salvation . . . we must open our hearts and minds to God’s movement in our lives.

Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave.

Like the most respected women and leading men in our town . . . we must remain in Christ and the surety of Christ’s promise.

Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples.

Like Paul and Barnabas . . . we must shrug our shoulders, move on to the next town, allowing the joy of the Spirit to overflow our hearts.

For other reflections on Paul and Barnabas, enter the apostles’ names in the blog search bar and explore.

For more on Iconium, visit: http://bibleatlas.org/iconium.htm

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