TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, November 14, 2018:
One who hates or seeks to inflict harm upon another; foe; one who is against another.
Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Wherever Jesus went He attracted large crowds as he went from one town and one village to another proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. From the time He was a child, people were amazed at His words. Sometimes however, the words that Jesus spoke were not what they wanted to hear. In Jesus day the people were living under Roman rule and the Romans were cruel oppressors. The Jewish people had no love for the Romans. They were dreaded enemies.
We read in Luke 6:27-36 the sermon Jesus spoke on how we are to deal with enemies. Jesus starts His comments by saying. “But I say to you who hear.” He states it this way because He knows that many believers will not want to hear what He is going to say about how we are to deal with our enemies. No one likes to hear anything that requires something difficult for us to do.
Jesus begins by telling us to love our enemies and to do good to them that hate you. Jesus is initiating here the most revolutionary lifestyle ever known in the history of mankind. No religion in the world can remotely compare with this. If you study other religions including Buddhism and Islam, they have absolutely no principles even close to this.
In verse 31, Jesus gives us what we know today as the golden rule. He says just as you want men to do to you, you also do to him likewise. Jesus was restating for the believers today what the law taught as recorded in Leviticus 19:18: You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The natural reaction today is to return good for good and evil for evil. Think of how you have reacted at times when someone does something evil that has hurt you. You immediately want to do something, maybe hurtful, to get back at that person.
But that is not what Jesus teaches us. Jesus teaches that we are to love our enemy. When Jesus said we are to love our enemies, He was not talking about having a feeling of affection for them. In the natural we will not. Loving our enemies takes a conscience effort. It takes an act of our will. Choosing to love our enemies means choosing to act in their best interest and act toward them in a kind way.
In Luke 6:32 Jesus says it is no credit to us if we love those who love us. Even sinners do that. Jesus wants us as believers in Him (verse 33) to do the hard thing and love our enemies. Jesus goes on to say that when we give good we should give it with an attitude of not expecting anything in return. The Lord will repay us, as it is written in Proverbs 19:17: He who has pity on the poor lends unto the Lord; and He will reward him for what he has done.
God has been merciful to us and we are in return are to be merciful to others. In everything we do we are to follow Christ’s example and be forgiving even as He was forgiving. Jesus loved us even when we were unlovely.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Chronicles 28:20.
And David said to his son Solomon, be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.
Help me and my family to always do good even to those who treat us badly. Help us by Your grace to love our enemies and pray for them that they will soon return to You.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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