Monday, February 18, 2019
Luke 6:35-36: [Jesus is saying,] "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to ungrateful and evil people. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Contrary to Popular Opinion:
Jesus is a radical. Jesus is a rebel. Why do I say that? Did you read what He said? Jesus is totally different than the way things happen in the world. Hate, not love is in the air. You can't watch a whole news cast and not see hatred and anger and fear running rampant. "Love your enemies?" Not anywhere that I have seen.
That is why Jesus is such a radical and a rebel. Jesus is teaching us to love our enemies.
The Reality Is:
Hatred runs the world right now. Think about it for a bit. And I'm not referring to Washington DC and the actions of elected leaders alone. I am referring to people being called names because of the color of their skin. I am also referring to when people give people "the cold shoulder." I am referring to the "Well, if you treat me badly, I'll treat you badly, too."
I am referring to the general attitude of animosity and fear that is gripping people. And do know from where that comes? Our sinful human nature. It comes from selfishness and self-centeredness. It come from the fundamental part of every human being that says, "I only care for me and I don't really care about you." That is sin in a nutshell.
The Counter Reality Is:
Jesus is the counter reality. Jesus is love, mercy, and grace. Jesus took on the hatred of people and showed them love. Jesus "turned the other cheek" and He died on the cross. Jesus allowed the brutality and sin to be poured full force upon Him. "By His wounds, we are healed." Through the most loving act, the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus loved His enemies and He said, "Father, forgiven them, for they don't know what they are doing."
This is what love looks like. This is what love did, and continues to do through us, the followers of Jesus. Our love mimics the love of Jesus. We are, "little Christs" to the world. And it starts now.
Do not let hatred run the day. When sin needs to be addressed, deal with it with love. Be truthful and straightforward. Forgive as Jesus has forgiven you. Challenge others with godly behavior and show them what love really is. Show them Jesus.
Would you be willing to share your story of love with others? Thank you.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.