Can we be this Holy? In the face of our “enemies”?

Text of "Our Father" prayer with Tri...

Text of “Our Father” prayer with Trinity in central column (God the Father, dove of the Holy Spirit, Jesus) and Biblical and symbolic scenes in left and right columns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional and Discussion Thought of the Day…

43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ 44  But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45  so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. 46  Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! 47  And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! 48  You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48 (TEV) 

Don’t say, “That person bothers me.” Think: “That person sanctifies me.”  (1)

It still amazes me, how little we understand the power of the grace and forgiveness of Christ, how little we appreciate His desire to win the affection, the love of all those He loves.  How willing God is to separate all of us from our sin, how much His will is that all would be transformed by the Holy Spirit.

And yet, to those we as our enemies, we are as vicious, we are cruel, we are as unforgiving as any one could ever be.  The church has for too long… treated them as adversaries, mocked them, planned our strategic arguments.  against them. the very ones we have to pray for, love, serve, and reach with the only thing that will give them hope.

This is our role in life, it is how we are to imitate Christ, who allowed His enemies to kill Him, that He might love and save them.  What if He treated His enemies the way we treat ours?  What if He gossiped and mock them behind their backs, rather than confronting the in love?  What if He treated His enemies, His adversaries, US    like that?  We say we honor martyrs, we want to give ourselves for Jesus like they did… well are we ready to ask God to forgive our enemies their sin, even as Stephen did, even as the Lord’s prayer urges us to ask God to help with?

St. Josemaria makes an incredible point… that these very people that bother us, make us holy – because in order to treat them in the way that would bring God glory, we have to depend on God.  We have to trust Him, we have to know He is with us, that the Holy Spirit will work through us to cut open their hearts – even as ours were.   We can’t do it on our own, we have to love, we have to embrace them, and the pain they cause us, in order to love them in a way that will reach them.

Will we love them……. will we strive to see them forgiven and healed?  Can we be that holy?

In Christ… as baptized believers, as those who would glorify God the Father…

yes…. for there is no other way…. to live, or to accomplish our task.

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Location 534). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 14, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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