When the Enemy Is Too Close to Home

Lesson Three
Text: 
Luke, Chapter Six

My Thoughts:

Something the Lord has laid on my heart in the last few weeks is my relationship with Him. I know I have a relationship with Him. I know who Jesus is, and I know what He came and accomplished on the cross. What I’ve been feeling convicted about as of late is having an intimate relationship with Him.

Something else I’ve been realizing is that an intimate relationship comes with healing. In my case, mending.

The thing about mending is it implies brokenness.
For someone with wounds, coming across the part of scripture that calls us to “love our enemies” can be hard to absorb.

It’s easy for me to love the strangers across the sea I haven’t met. Strangers who call me evil and wish me harm.
It’s easy for me to love the strangers across town, the ones with offensive bumper stickers that roll their eyes when I bow my head.

It’s not easy to love the person who is close to home. The person who told me they hated me.  The one who took from me, falsely accused me, hurt me and abused me.
Sometimes we come across enemies who are a little too close to home. Enemies we actually have to face, right here, right now.

And Jesus goes and says things like “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:32-33)
It stings a little.
Honestly, it stings a lot. Enough so that we dig into our Bibles to find scripture to “justify” our hardened hearts toward one another, brother and enemy alike.

Then the Lord, my Lord, goes even further.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. ~Luke 6:35-36

He, my God, is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
Let’s get real for a moment.

I am the ungrateful.
I am the evil.

It was in sin, He paid the price, drinking the cup of God’s wrath for sin, to provide for me a way out of bondage.
In darkness, He gave me everlasting light.
He is kind. He is merciful.

In my brokenness, instead of slowing down to think about how the One True Living God of All Creation is kind and merciful, I try to find ways to justify myself to Him when I choose to be unkind and unmerciful.

When I choose to be unforgiving.

Forgiveness is part of the mending process. Forgiveness I seek from Him, humbling myself to realize who I am in comparison to who He is.
As well as forgiveness I give others. Forgiving others heals me. Allows me to be kind, merciful, and loving.

Even to the enemy who is close to me.

It doesn’t mean I am a punching bag. It doesn’t mean I twist Grace into something that is perverted, ugly, and unGodly.

What it does mean is that I am kind and loving. I forgive and in the act of forgiving, I suddenly drink deeply the truth and reality of my own forgiveness. It means I recognize who I am in comparison to all He is. In loving my enemies, I begin to know Jesus more intimately.

Because I was an enemy.

And He first loved me.

Prayer

Father, forgive me for my sins. Forgive me for my pride and arrogance in the face of who You are. Father, thank you for sending your son, for providing a way that I can be reconciled to you. Help me Father by the power of your Holy Spirit to forgive others, realizing you have forgiven me. Help me to love others with Your love Father, that I would rely on Your Holy Spirit to guide me into kindness and mercy. Thank you Jesus for Loving Me, for Your kindness to Me. Praise and Glory to you and all that You are.

Luke Study Image

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

 

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