Thursday, December 29, 2011
Love For Our Enemies!
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). How are we doing on our love? I follow a blog written for and by an atheist. This atheist has very harsh words to say about Christians and the God we follow. He believes we are living a lie and he feels it is his responsiblity to make it known. It is difficult to know someone’s motivation but I believe fear may be a contributing factor in this great effort. He is always looking for things we (Christians) say and do and, believe me; we give him lots of material. His blog is critical. He takes phrases out of context and he does make fun of Christians. His words do offend me and at times I have been very angry with him. My reason for reading his blog is to learn a different culture other than my own. To understand people, we must move from our comfort and safe group of “people just like us” and reach out to other people much different than us. I desire to understand the heart behind all behavior. My heart breaks for his unbelief when I remember, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corth. 1:18)
Even though he makes me angry at times, my heart is full of love for Him. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). This love must be of God for how can we love our enemy unless God pours Himself from our hearts? Stephen’s last words as he was being stoned to death give us an example of this love. “Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, Lord, do not charge them with this sin. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died) (Acts7:60)
A Christian is known for his/her love. Again I wonder how are we doing with this love? I read the angry degrading comments on this atheist’s blog and I wonder do these people think they are doing God a favor? I am embarrassed by their words. They call themselves Christians and I assume they are but you would not know it by their words. The words they are writing in the comment section of the blog are no different than the blog itself, full of anger, fear, and lack of love.
If someone disagrees with you and your faith, don’t be defensive. God is the judge. He knows your heart and He knows the hearts of your enemy. You are called to suffer as Christ Jesus suffered.
“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 sons 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. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).”
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me (John 15:18-21).”
Be encouraged and know your reward is in heaven. Address these people in the love of Christ. Pray asking God to be merciful unto them, granting them forgiveness and salvation. How cool for an atheist to being singing the praises of the Lord. If my atheist blogger friend, in this life, never bows his knee to our Savior, God will have the last word. It is our responsibility to respond to his actions in love and grace, for we have been given much.
Go love someone in word and deed today!
Posted by Bobbie Dilbeck at 5:10 AM