In my lesson today, loving your enemies is talked about as in Matthew 5:44 which states “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” In that verse, there is no where that it says “some” but specifies “all”. In the past, it was easier for me to just avoid someone who had offended me or just “write them off” but I don’t think that is what the Bible means.
Actually, by loving someone who is not easy for me to love has given me much spiritual growth; so do we really have enemies? Below are two verses in the Hymnal which I refer to from time to time:
“Speak gently, it is better far To rule by love than fear; Speak gently, let no harsh word mar The good we may do here.
Speak gently to the erring ones, They must have toiled in vain; Perchance unkindness made them so; O win them back again.”
Today I will make a conscious effort to love everyone I meet.
After writing yesterday about loving more I had numerous opportunities to do that. One call was with an unpleasant young lady in a large company where I needed to understand their way of doing things. Wanted to allow our grandson to use our account in another city and she didn’t seem to want to help. Then after a couple of more calls, a light came on in my thinking to practice what I was preaching! I was soon reminded of a scripture and a poem. These helped to gently respond rather than react angrily.
On Gentle Word
Oh, let it never bear a sting–the thought you think. Make it a bird! Oh, feather it with love, and wing it carefully on gentle word. Then it will rise and sweetly sing, and bless wherever it is heard. by Althea Brooks Hollenbeck
Colossians 2:6-7 states “So then, just as you received in Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
“The Answer” is a poem by Maxine Le Pelley which is definitely worth reading.
“In the words of the young man whom Jesus met, he too asked: ‘Lord, what lack I yet?’ What do I need to heal this case and error’s picture to erase? Do I need more humility, More meekness, and less vanity? Lack I still yet a motive pure, A little faith that will endure? Is it more gratitude I need, More honesty of thought and deed? What is my need, all else above? The answer came, ‘To love, to love!'”
When my heart is filled with Love, the answer is always obvious, but when it is dark, I can neither see nor feel love. Habakkuk 3: 17-19 states “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.” We are receptive to all Good when we continue to love more and our Good multiplies! The answer then is always simple. Just love more.
I’d Rather Give Audience to Spirit by Elizabeth Bice Luerssen
I really wasn’t enjoying the show playing on my stage of consciousness–sad, depressing, even frightening, and with a cast of characters no one could love.
“The show must go on.” It must? Must something so bad have a good run? Then I had an angel of an idea: I stopped watching; took away the audience. And the show closed!
That poem resonated with me the minute I read it and I thought of times when those unwanted shows tried to entertain me in my thoughts. Psalm 34:19 states “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.” This means to me that I need to question my focus when an endless tape is playing and I will do that today.
Two days ago, I told my husband I needed an extra gift to give our granddaughters for graduation. He suggested an inspirational book of some kind. Then I thought of a friend who writes poetry and loves books and called her and she promptly recommended the book “Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman and it sounded perfect! We ordered several from Amazon and they will be delivered today. Philippians 4:19 reads “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus”.
That entire experience was God-inspired and directed. Once I thought I needed to be in a dire condition to call upon God but now I take everything to Him and gratefully watch things unfold!
As I study the conversion of Paul and while he was still Saul persecuting the Christians, Ananias was called by God to go and heal him after he was blinded by the Truth. Acts 9:11-12 states “And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Surely, Ananias would be fearful for going to such a man. Recently, I read a wonderful poem entitled “Ananias”.
“I heard you, Lord: ‘Heal him’. But…may I say a word? This Saul–haven’t I heard about Jerusalem and how he scorched us there–the violence, terror, despair?”
Ananias, what matters to us nineteen centuries since is that you shattered such logic and listened. Routing your own resistance, you trusted, freeing the verse of your heart with the rhythm of intuition. Love-led, you dared face hatred with compassion.
Not that you didn’t question–we all have. But out of that blaze you came, wide-eyed and childlike, to uncritical innocence.
Without your kind, the Sauls would be nothing but blind.
Author-Rushworth M. Kidder
This story hits home to me as I sometime wonder if God knows the entire story of what He is asking me to do. Yes, He always does and today I will listen and obey.
John 11:44 states “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” While pondering this verse, it is revealed to me that often times I see others as they were years ago or think of something they had said or done. Certainly, I would want others to release certain things of my years-ago past. Today, I will be conscious of my thinking of others and refute thoughts that may not show myself or others in light! God sees us as His beloved children and I choose to do the same! In doing so, I let only light and love in.
While studying John 11 about the raising of Lazarus from the dead, it is so obvious to me that Jesus can only do that with Love in His heart and thinking. This is so much more than positive thinking but the realization that God is Life! John 11: 41 to 43 reads ” Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou has heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.”
As I go through the day and I work at keeping my thought raised, I can see limitless possibilities and the exact opposite happens if I let darkness enter my thinking. Becoming more and more clear, it is my choice on how I see things! My goal is to see only through God’s/Love’s eyes.
“God’s mother love broods over all! Have I necessities His love will not supply who measures not one need as great or small, but even tends the sparrow at its fall? God’s mother love my strength will ever be which tends us both alike–the bird and me!”
So often we think something needs to happen in order for us to experience joy! Actually, we can be joyful right here, right now and anywhere. Just read a cute poem which reads, “The heart is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds, You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” The choice is always ours.
Psalm 23:4 states, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” No matter what the human experience, the Christ is right there lovingly pointing out our blessing.