In light of the situation between Russia & the Ukraine I thought it appropriate to repost this old post.
Luke 6 New International Version – UK
Love for enemies
27 ‘But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 ‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’
There are two reasons for us to love our enemies. One is simply because God said to, but the other is because God loved us first. It was when we were still God’s enemies (Colossians 1:21 and Romans 5:10) that He demonstrated His love for us. Through Jesus (Romans 5:8) God’s love brought salvation to us.
We all have people we don’t like and of course it’s worse when we fall out with our friends Christian or otherwise.
Jesus taught us to ‘Love our Enemies’. He gave us a few rules such as ‘ Turn the other cheek’, ( to me that meant do not retaliate).
He also spoke about giving our clothes to other people and lending without expecting repayment.
It isn’t an easy thing to do is to Love our Enemies because no matter how hard we try to Love them they might not be prepared to do the same. If we pray about it, perhaps things may change for the better.
Jesus also taught us not to Judge others.
We do not know what a certain person is going through, whether it be health matters, financial or otherwise, only God knows
Odessa, Ukraine’s population is 50 percent Jewish. Christianity is increasing in Ukraine. Martial Law is already executed in Ukraine due to Russian troops’ attack. People are running for their lives for safe refuge.This must be the reason the devil wants to destroy Ukraine. Yet, the more persecution is … the greater the outpouring of God will be.
War. Famine. All biblical.
Though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Today’s Scripture & Insight: Psalm 23
Bart Millard penned a megahit in 2001 when he wrote, “I Can Only Imagine.” The song pictures how amazing it will be to be in Christ’s presence. Millard’s lyrics offered comfort to our family that next year when our seventeen-year-old daughter, Melissa, died in a car accident and we imagined what it was like for her to be in God’s presence.
But imagine spoke to me in a different way in the days following Mell’s death. As fathers of Melissa’s friends approached me, full of concern and pain, they said, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”
Their expressions were helpful, showing that they were grappling with our loss in an empathetic way—finding it unimaginable.
David pinpointed the depth of great loss when he described walking through “the darkest valley” (Psalm 23:4). The death of a loved one certainly is that, and we sometimes have no idea how we’re going to navigate the darkness. We can’t imagine ever being able to come out on the other side.
But as God promised to be with us in our darkest valley now, He also provides great hope for the future by assuring us that beyond the valley we’ll be in His presence. For the believer, to be “away from the body” means being present with Him (2 Corinthians 5:8). That can help us navigate the unimaginable as we imagine our future reunion with Him and others.
1 Corinthians 3 The Passion
The Church, God’s Inner Sanctuary
16 Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary[i] and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?[j] 17 Now, if someone desecrates[k] God’s inner sanctuary, God will desecrate him, for God’s inner sanctuary is holy, and that is exactly who you are.
18 So why fool yourself and live under an illusion?[l] Make no mistake about it, if anyone thinks he is wise by the world’s standards, he will be made wiser by being a fool for God![m] 19 For what the world says is wisdom is actually foolishness in God’s eyes. As it is written:
The cleverness of the know-it-alls
becomes the trap[n] that ensnares them.
20 And again:
The Lord sees right through
the clever reasonings of the wise
and knows that it’s all a sham.[o]
21 So don’t be proud of your allegiance to any human leader. For actually, you already have everything! It has all been given for your benefit, 22 whether it is Paul or Apollos or Peter the Rock,[p] or whether it’s the world[q] or life or death,[r] or whether it’s the present or the future—everything belongs to you! 23 And now you are joined to the Messiah, who is joined to God.
COME, Saviour Jesus, from above,
Assist me with thy heavenly grace;
Empty my heart of earthly love,
And for thyself prepare the place.
2 O let thy sacred presence fill
And set my longing spirit free,
Which wants to have no other will,
But day and night to feast on thee!
3 Henceforth may no profane delight
Divide this consecrated soul;
Possess it thou, who hast the right,
As Lord and Master of the whole.
4 Wealth, honour, pleasure, and what else
This short-enduring world can give,
Tempt as ye will, my soul repels;
To Christ alone resolved to live.
5 Nothing on earth do I desire
But thy pure love within my breast;
This, only this, do I require,
And freely give up all the rest.