Monday Morning Pastor – 1/8/17

January 9, 2017
Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Melissa McGinness.

Title: Love Your Enemies
Scripture: Luke 6:27-36

This weekend we continued our study in Luke with a focus on the words of Jesus toward our enemies.   Most of us who attend the church on a regular basis call ourselves Christians or Christ followers. But are we letting the words of Christ and a Kingdom economy penetrate our interactions, or do we live like the Earth and this life is all there is?  On this snowy day I’m reminded that followers of Christ cannot add Christianity on like a warm coat in the winter hoping it will prevent the coldness that may creep into our hearts, rather we must pay attention, be challenged, transformed and ultimately act out the words of Jesus.

Mark gave two very specific examples of individuals who meant harm unapologetically and acting in the Earthly economy became enemies by taking the lives of innocent people.  The family members left behind in both situations chose forgiveness of these individuals in the face of unspeakable horror and in one instance continued the work their family member had started for the Kingdom’s economy and succeeded.   How would you react to a terrible situation like this?  I know that if someone were to harm a family member of mine intentionally my reaction would naturally be less than Christ-like and yet Jesus calls us to love and reach these individuals just as he died on the cross to reach us.

As I listened to the stories I couldn’t help but think about the anger in this world and the way people respond to everything with violence.  Did something happen to turn our hearts toward evil?  Did we wake up one day and see violence and hurt as the answer and if so, why?  Jesus gave several answers to the hurts we face in this world.  He didn’t give the answers an Earthly economy would understand rather clear instruction that would resonate and stand out as coming from a Kingdom economy.   Although the answers may sound like a list of rules impossible to follow, Jesus meant them as a posture of faith taken by our souls that want no one to perish rather everyone to experience the gift of eternal life.

For our enemies we are to:

  • Do Good – not to repay evil with evil.  To seek good for the enemy for their eternal welfare.
  • Bless – speak life not death in the face of an enemy.  Wish good will.
  • Pray – between you and God, pray for those who are lost.
  • Give the other cheek – choose to absorb a wrong and deny yourself retribution.
  • Give of your belongings – give to anyone, even your enemy, when they are in need.

Jesus doesn’t say take the easy way out.  He didn’t.  He doesn’t want a response without faith.  He had faith that his death would bring life.  He certainly doesn’t want a response that wouldn’t come from the Lord and how he would lead.  He struggled in this Earthly economy in all the ways we do, yet he pursued the Kingdom economy.   If we are really focusing and living the words of Jesus, we should be forever changed and transformed by them and so too will others, friend or foe.  Jesus is the ultimate example, I know I left church with new tools in my belt, the words of Jesus.

 

Listen to the whole sermon here
If you have interest in contributing to this series please contact Dave Hallahan.