9/26/16: Now That’s a Tough One
One of the toughest commandments in all of Scripture is found in Luke 6:27-28. Jesus Himself is speaking and He says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you” (NKJ).
“Okay, Lord,” we respond, “let us get this straight. You want us to love, do good, bless, and pray for our enemies who hate us, curse us, and spitefully use us.”
In my imagination, I can see the Lord looking us in the eye and nodding as He answers, “That’s exactly what I mean.”
That’s a tough one.
So that we’re clear about exactly who it is Jesus is telling us to love, do good to, bless, and pray for, let’s analyze their description. An enemy (echthros in Greek) is a hateful, odious, either actively or passively hostile adversary. The one who hates (misos) detests to the point of active persecution. The one who curses us (kataraomai) wishes to execrate or call down doom or evil upon us. And the one who spitefully uses us (epereazo) breathes forth insult, slander, and false accusations. These are the folks Jesus says we are to love.
The Lord is as precise about what our positive response should be as He is about pointing out to whom we should give said response.
- We are to love (agapao). Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words says, “Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son… an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself… Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian … (it) is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered.”
- We are to do good (kalos). This Greek word is an adverb, modifying the verb “do.” We are to actively treat our haters well.
- We are to bless (eulogeo). Not only should our attitude be of love, and our actions be good, but we are also to speak well of these people.
- We are to pray for (proseuchomai) them. We are to be on our knees before God on behalf of our haters, taking our earnest supplications to the throne room of Heaven in regard to them.
It is not our call as to whether or not these folks deserve such treatment. We didn’t deserve what Jesus did for us on the Cross. It is only our call to obey God in response to our haters. Do we really trust that God cares about us? If so, we can trust Him to handle our haters as well. Proverbs 25:21-22 directs and then assures us saying, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you” (NKJ).
When our haters are as pit bulls growling at our heels, we’re to love them, do good to them, bless and pray for them, feed them and give them something to drink. In so doing, our retaliation transforms into the reward (shalam – to be safe and complete in mind, body and estate) of Heaven. Knowing the ultimate outcome should take quite of bit of the sting out of the Commandment to love your neighbor. Perhaps it won’t be so tough anymore.
Mission Trip Update! 14 days to go! NOW THERE’S A $1,000.00 MATCHING GRANT! The $1,000.00 matching grant challenge ends today! Thank you for all who have given between September 1 – September 26. Hallelujah, the goal to obtain the full matching grant was reached. Gifts you now send between today and when we leave are still necessary for personal expenses and gift books. Since I was not able to raise enough money to ship a large number of books for all the ladies who will attend the women’s conferences, I will pack as many Power Suit books as possible (to meet the weight restrictions) to give to pastor’s wives and the women at the television stations in Kenya and Zambia; and I’ll take as many Why I Get Into Trouble children’s books and I’ll figure out a way to distribute them. So, I still need your financial donations.
The trip has been narrowed down to KENYA and ZAMBIA! I’ve seen the proof of the posters that will be passed out and the billboards that will be placed throughout the cities. I will be teaching at the Leader’s Seminars, encouraging the ladies at the Women’s Seminars, and preaching at the evening crusades. People travel all over the world every day, but it’s my first time and I’m pinching myself being sure it’s all actually real! Thank you in advance! You can give three ways:
- Via Paypal through my ministry website: http://www.lifethatmatters.net. Click “Donate.” [Remember that Paypal charges a 3-4% fee on my end.]
- By check sent to my post office box: P.O. Box 1519, Inglewood, CA 90308
- Via Paypal through the HSBN.tv website. (Be sure to let the network know your donation is for Rev. Sharon Elliott’s Africa trip.)
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: