Google+ 02/25/14 We Must Vow to Not Be Vengeful!

Luke 6:35-36

 

“Love your enemies! Do good to them.

Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.

Then your reward from heaven will be very great,

And you will truly be acting as children of the Most High,

For he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.

You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.

 

In part fourteen of our eighteen-part devotion series entitled, "Sharing God's Love!" we turn to the apostle Luke as he quotes Jesus about love.  I have some good friends from the eastern seaboard of the United States that would have a one-word response after reading today's Scripture lesson.  They would say, "Really?"  Most of us don't like to talk about our enemies, even though we know we have them.  When Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies, many of us stopped in our tracks and wrestled with God about this subject.  After all, they are our enemies.  They are not our friends.  Many of them have rejected the love of Christ.  Aren't these the people we are supposed to walk away from in the world?  Now Jesus has really gone too far.  We are not only supposed to love and pray for our enemies, we are supposed to do good to them.  Wait for it...we are supposed to lend them money if they need it!  Before we decide that Jesus has been out in the Galilean sun way to long, let's look at the rest of our Scripture and understand that Jesus is very right.  We have discussed previously how Satan separates us from God with the use of negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, envy, greed, indifference, and hate.  Who do we have these emotions towards?  It is not our friends!  Our enemies can literally drive us insane and away from the love of God if we permit it.  God can solve that problem for us.  If we love our enemies, pray for them, and then "lend them money without expecting repayment," we simply don't have time to be angry, or experience envy, greed, jealousy, or indifference.  In short, by being Godly to our enemies, we restore all the benefits of the agape love that God provides us, each day of our lives.  Our Scripture concludes by explaining why we should do this.  It is what God does, so hence, we should do it also.  Noitce that there is nowhere in our Scripture lesson today that calls this kind of behavior towards our enemies "easy."  Hear this...if we wish to be obedient to God,  we will learn how to treat our enemies.  "We Must Vow to Not Be Vengeful!"