Thursday, February 3, 2011
SALT Challenge - Love Your Enemies
It's time for another SALT challenge and this week it was Pauline's turn to set the challenge and she chose "love your enemies." You can read her write up on the SALT blog. I confess that I'm posting this just this morning vs. last night and therefore haven't had much time to think through a detailed post. However, I will share that I chose my Scripture verse based upon what is needed for us to truly love our enemies...God's grace. It is not natural for us to love our enemies or those who mock us or our beliefs or who dislike us for no apparant reason. It's natural for us to either seek revenge or to fight for our own reputation, to want to come out of the corner ready for a fight. Yet Christ commands us to love those who don't love us and pray for those who hate us. And what Christ commands He did Himself. For as he hung upon the cross, he prayed for his crucifiers, who were then used Him in the most despiteful, as well as cruel manner; saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Matthew Henry has this to say on loving your enemies and a Christian's duty, "The Jewish teachers by neighbour understood only those who were of their own country, nation, and religion, whom they were pleased to look upon as their friends. The Lord Jesus teaches that we must do all the real kindness we can to all, especially to their souls. We must pray for them. While many will render good for good, we must render good for evil; and this will speak a nobler principle than most men act by. Others salute their brethren, and embrace those of their own party, and way, and opinion, but we must not so confine our respect. It is the duty of Christians to desire, and aim at, and press towards perfection in grace and holiness. And therein we must study to conform ourselves to the example of our heavenly Father. Surely more is to be expected from the followers of Christ than from others; surely more will be found in them than in others. Let us beg of God to enable us to prove ourselves his children." That leads me to the verse that I used on my card for how can the natural man really care about and truly love those who are unlovely in their conduct and words? Only by the grace of God, who is able to transform our hearts. We are weak in our own strength, unable to do this grand thing that Christ commands. But it is in our own weakness that we can take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before we can have victory. May God be pleased to grant us grace to love our enemies and to pray for those who use us for He may be pleased to use our conduct to touch their hearts. As the centurion said as he gazed upon Christ on the cross, his heart obviously changed by all that had happened that day, "Truly, this was the Son of God." Please stop by the SALT blog to see the other lovely works created by the design team and feel free to create a project based on this week's challenge. We'd love to share in your work!! PS - OK...don't laugh because it appears I rarely have nothing to say...so much for being unprepared! LOL!