“It’s the irresistible life of Christ’s love in us that draws others to faith in the gospel of Christ.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 1, 2021
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45
Enemies of Jesus are ever looking for ways to dismiss, discredit, and destroy Him. Like the lost religious leaders of His day, they want to drive Christ out of their presence. The agnostic intellectuals of today dismiss Christ as a crutch for their cultured conscience. Contemporary theologically liberal leaders try to discredit Jesus’ miracles as mere myth. Proud atheists seek to justify their godless behavior by destroying the absolutes that accompany God’s existence.
The sad news is those who seek to drive out God from the culture are unable to simultaneously seek the good news of Jesus Christ. Enemies of the Lord do not know and understand the Lord. Ironically, the more the faithless attempt to flush faith from society the more faith is fueled. Just as migratory birds move together toward a warmer climate as harsh weather arrives, so the faithful move closer to the warm heart of Christ when religious intolerance is tolerated. Enemies of Jesus may seem to be winning, but they’ll soon be surprised they have lost their chance to seek Christ.
“You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord” (Acts 13:10)?
Furthermore, a persecuted people of God offer an opportunity to display the power of God. History proves that a church under fire is positioned to receive the Holy Spirit’s fire. It’s when the church blends in with the culture that it becomes irrelevant and impotent. So, praise God for the enemies of God. Their fight against faith must mean that faith means something. It does. It means freedom. Authentic freedom is inward before it’s outward and where freedom is, the Spirit takes up residence.
Thus, we who know Jesus must pray for the enemies of Jesus. We pray for them to seek to know Him, not ignore Him. We pray for them to seek to worship Him, not dismiss Him. We pray for them to seek to glorify Him, not discredit Him. We pray for them to seek to be saved by Him, not destroy Him. Lastly, fight the faithless with grace, love, and acceptance. It’s the irresistible life of Christ that draws others to Christ. Let’s use surrender as our strategy to engage the enemies of God. Our surrendered life to Jesus disarms His antagonists and challenges them to seek Christ!
“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21-22).
Heavenly Father, teach me how to pray for Your enemies and model for them the life of Christ.
Who do I consider an enemy that I need to start praying for? How can I show love and compassion toward him?
Kyle Sigmon: Love Your Enemies
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