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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Learning to Do Good to Those Who Oppose Me

In review of Luke 6:27-29 it says, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also” (NLT).

Bottom Line:
Do good and act on your enemies best interests.

What this means to me:
I am to love, do good and bless those who hate or are against me. I am to give them more than than they demand, acting in their best interests.

Jesus tells me to love my enemies. I’m to do good to those who hate me. Bless those who curse me. Pray for those who hurt me. If someone slaps me on one cheek, offer the other cheek as well. If someone demands from me, given them even more. When things are taken away, don't try to get it back. Essential do to others as I would like them to do to me.

What I’m learning is that Jesus wasn't talking about having affection for enemies; he was talking about an act of the will. I can't "fall into" this kind of love, it requires a conscious effort. Loving my enemies means acting in their best interests. I can pray for them, and think of ways to help them. Jesus loves the whole world, even though the whole world in in rebellion against him. Jesus asks me to follow his example by loving my enemies. Grant them the same respect and rights I desire for myself.

So, when I’m persecuted, harassed, and face opposition, I need to respond with a blessing.

Jesus says in Luke 6:27-29, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also” (NLT).

Who does that?! Not many, actually. It’s what sets Christianity apart, because it’s not a natural or popular or easy response. It takes a lot of courage to do those things! Anyone can fight back. Anyone can retaliate. Anyone can respond with something mean.”

However, God wants me to love my enemies, do good to those who hate me, bless those who curse me, pray for those who hurt me, and turn the other cheek. Is not that easy. I can only do it by being filled with God’s love. But it is the most powerful form of witness.

I want to be that kind of person for Jesus. I want to be that brave. I want to have a heart of courage that won’t cave in to what’s wrong, no matter what they throw at me. And I want to respond with love.” When I refuse to retaliate and instead respond in love at work or with somebody who doesn’t like me, God will be pleased. And I’m going to be blessed.

God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT).

Jesus paid a price for me. He says there’s a price to be paid for following him. Popularity on Earth is not part of the guarantee of being a Christian, but my reward in Heaven is guaranteed.

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