Are Those Who Oppose Jesus, our Enemies? Or Those We’ve Been Sent to Love?

Devotional THought of the Day:

Now while he was at table in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. 11  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ 12  When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. 13  Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice. And indeed I came to call not the upright, but sinners.’   Matthew 9:10-13 (NJB) 10

869   Those… who see adversaries where there are only brothers, deny with their works the Christianity they profess. (1)

I didn’t want to write this post, but as I see those who trust in Christ respond with what appears to be hatred and a desire for revenge, I can’t be quiet on this one. Not so close to Christmas, Not in view of how God treated those we would consider His enemies, His adversaries.

Don’t we realize that when we react to people, we either testify of God’s love for them, or we deny it?  That when we wish evil, or retribution, or pain upon others, when we pray that their business goes down in flames, that they know misfortune, we aren’t loving them the way God loves them, the way He loves us?  Don’t we realize the power and the need of the old Lutheran prayer, Lord, turn the hearts of our enemies and adversaries toward You?  Don’t we realize the truth of St Josemaria’s comment – that we deny what we profess, when we see these people Christ died for as adversaries, as opposed to those who need to be freed, and for God’s glory to shatter their darkness?

What will it take for us to turn the other cheek, to react the way Stephen did, the way Jesus did?  When will we desire that they come to the transformation that God desires for them, that they would realize He would cleanse them of their sin – just as we count on Him to do for us?

Yes, a neighbor wrote a letter to someone complaining about Santa Claus (secular Christmas) and a ton of lights.  Yeah, a guy gut suspdended from making money on television, yeah, someone didn’t like how agressive we were quote the Bible, or some religious book.  That is no reason to wish them evil, to curse them or raise crusades against them.

Instead, it’s a reason to love them, a reason to pray for them, a reason to be patient with them, and reach out to them.   Knowing that God has done the same for us.

We can stop the mad reactions against us… simply by loving them with Christ’s love.

Lord have mercy, and help us to desire what you desires for these our “adversaries”
Whether it is our response ot

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3556-3558). 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 December 19, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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