Mid Week Devotion 7/15/2020 “Love for Enemies”
Good morning, afternoon or evening, depending on when you are watching this mid-week version of our online church presentations. I want to extend a greeting to those of who are joining in today, however you found us, welcome! My name is Pastor Mel, I trust you find this space comforting, refreshing and safe as we continue to journey through life together.
I want to remind you that even though we are back to in-person worship services we still need your help in sharing the online mid-week devotions and Sunday services. We reached a lot of people for Christ and this is a simple and easy way for us to continue sharing. So even though you may be here in person, many are not.
A Drive Through VBS has been scheduled for Sunday, July 19, 2:00-4:00. Please come anytime between 2:00-3:30. Please enter off of South Clay and volunteers will direct you. The Drive Through VBS will be a place where you can enjoy a Bible story and some fun entertainment from the safety of your own vehicle! 6 stations will offer a fun filled half an hour to your Sunday afternoon as each station will last around 4 minutes. Again, please enter off of South Clay Street, onto Morgan Street and a volunteer will direct you!
I have a couple of prayer request updates.
1.) Tom Jordan is asking for prayers for his neighbor, Kathy Turner, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
2.) Prayers of concern for the Robinson family on the passing of John Robinson. John is the son of Bud Robinson and the brother of Nancy and Gerry Robinson.
3.) Prayers of concern for Glenda Eldridge, who will be having some tests done on July 22, she is also asking for prayers for her son, Tom Keegan, who is also having some test done this month.
4.) Rhoda Walker is asking for more prayers for her son Andy. Test revealed even more places of inflamed tissue. He is in a lot of pain and weakened because this ordeal.
5.) Pat Manker’s Brother In Law, Larry, is home now.
How often we call out to you, O Lord, yet we do not incline an ear to the words spoken in the still quiet of our souls. Too often we distance ourselves from your love and healing touch. Break the stubborn arrogance of our hearts, that we would embrace your unchanging word and know true peace that only comes from living within your will. Amen.
Now, Lord, be with us as we pray the words which you have given to us;
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
For ever. Amen.
SCRIPTURE – Luke 6:27-31
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 mistreat 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.
I have entitled this devotion, Love for Enemies.
DEVOTION: “Love for Enemies”
Who are your enemies? Enemy is a pretty strong word. When I want greater clarification on the meaning of a word I go the my trusty old dictionary. Here are three descriptions of the word enemy.
• a person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.
• a hostile nation or its armed forces or citizens, especially in time of war.
• a thing that harms or weakens something else.
I was expecting the first two definitions, because that is how I often think of enemy. That third description, however, that one hit home with me. Harms or weakens something else. Our nation is being torn apart by people who want to wear masks and those who do not. We are at each other’s throats over Black Lives Matter. We are arguing about reopening public schools during a pandemic. We are facing a presidential election that will be interesting to say the least.
We are certainly finding ways to harm and weaken each other. Does that mean we are enemies? We might disagree about each other’s theology, or sociology or even politics, how does that equate being enemies? It shouldn’t, we should be able to disagree with each other on any topic without harming or weakening ourselves or another person.
My heart aches when I watch us attempt to tear each other apart over disagreements. I have felt sick and long to be away on a mountaintop to escape the deluge of awful human versus human news. It doesn’t seem like we care too much for Jesus words about doing unto others as we would have them do to us.
I suppose those people who scream at minimum wage teenagers about face covering policies are just trying to share the love? It is sickening to see how far we can lower the bar of common human decency.
When was the last time you said something that you regretted? Will all have those moments, yet as you thought about the event later, did the word enemy cross your mind? I pray that it did not. Yet, even if it did, what does Jesus tell us about enemies . . . love them.
Jesus calls us to the most challenging proposals in human nature. Loving our enemies is a prime example. Why? Because without being challenged to dig deep into our souls to find Jesus, we are a lost people. How Jesus ever got shoved so far down inside us that we need to search to find our Savior is beyond me.
Wouldn’t life be better if modeling Jesus’ behavior was our first move instead of our last? Of course it would, so why don’t we?
I am calling on you to help me push back against hatred, indifference, lack of compassion, violence and other non-Jesus forms of dealing with issues, people and problems. We can be a better people, because we have a better God. Jesus advises us to use love as a solution to resolving problems and dealing with people. It worked for Jesus, but the world does not know this because Christians are attempting other solutions.
It seems to me that there is almost a sense of cultural revolution in the air, don’t be afraid, it may be in this moment that God’s love makes a grace-filled resurgence. God’s love and grace can heal any wounds and help people become one. We Christians need to be the catalyst for helping make this grace-filled resurgence a reality.
Go forth and live your life as an example of the one who came from Heaven to instruct us that love will conquer all evil.The cross demonstrates that darkness gives way to light, so pray with me now that the power of God’s love will help us begin to heal our wounds.
Pray with me.
O God of light and love, please hear our prayers on this day. Use us as instruments of healing in this world. Give us courage to love our enemies and push for peace within our nation. Thank you for loving us and showing us the better way through the life of Jesus. Let that life be in us and shown through us as we go forward with you into a bright tomorrow. Amen.
May God’s peace be with you until we meet again,
stay safe and God bless.