But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.
Back in the spring, to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, many events were were cancelled – including my favorite: professional hockey games. Recently hockey resumed (under special circumstances), and I was thrilled! With hockey I had some entertainment to help me relax and unwind. That is, until all of my favorite teams were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Granted, I still watch… but it’s not as much fun. I have found myself rooting against teams, rather than pulling for anyone. I won’t tell you which teams... Through it all, I have discovered it is better to be FOR something than AGAINST it.
This rings true of our testimony in Christ Jesus as well. Too often, churches are labeled for what they are against. Wouldn’t be great if the outside world viewed the church as being FOR the qualities of Jesus: compassionate, holy, forgiving, servant… the One hurting people turn to find answers and hope?
Here are a few things I believe All Saints Church is FOR:
- Offering HOPE to the hopeless
- Sharing the Good News of Jesus to all
- Serving those in need
- Strong marriages and healthy families
The list could go on...
In the Bible passage above, Jesus talks about enemies. Essentially Jesus is saying that we should be FOR our enemies. We may not "like" them or their actions, but that's not the point.
I have the privilege of doing pre-marital counseling with engaged couples in our church. One of the themes I focus on is this: We don’t “win” when we keep score. Make it a daily goal to OUTGIVE each other! As someone once told me: “Serving Jesus is a race to the back of the line.” We win by putting others in front of ourselves. We win by being FOR others.
Who is your enemy? LOVE them with no strings attached. Pray for them today, and pray for your heart to be changed, even before theirs. It’s not easy to do this, but remember… you and I are saved by a man who died loving His enemies.
That kind of savior? Well, yeah, I’m FOR that!