“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
Luke 6:35-36 NKJV
I was an enemy of God. In the life that I once led, I found joy in all things that were against God. In reality it was not joy, but revelry, for in my folly I committed sin in His face, thinking that there were no consequences. Little did I know that a great work of mercy was going on around me. There were so many times when I could have found myself dead and in hell, if not for the daily, sparing mercies of the Lord.
Jesus was ordained from the foundation of the world to pay for the sins of a sinner like me, who lived with no regard for God or His word. I was an enemy, and the God of the Universe loved me.
We are instructed to love our enemies, to do good for them. In these perilous times, it seems to be an impossible task, for those who hate God desire nothing less than to destroy those who serve as emissaries for the Most High. We are guided by the word of God, the Holy Scriptures, and the message we bring is considered anathema today.
But still we must bring it.
As I read the passage in Luke chapter six, I was reminded that I was an enemy, and it was by the mercy of God that I am now in the beloved. I look at mercy as not giving people what they deserve. I know that I deserve to go to hell, for the shame of my past sin still plagues me from time to time.
I am reminded that the devil is the accuser of the brethren and even now goes about heaven and earth accusing us of our unworthiness to be called the children of God.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
Revelation 12:10 NKJV
I rejoice in that future, where he that accuses will be cast down. I rejoice in the here and now that my Savior Jesus, my divine defender, stands in my defense, affirming that He, Jesus has died for my sins. In Him, I have no condemnation.
Jesus showed His kindness for me even as I was a sinner, and He continues to show it even when I stumble. He showed me mercy when I was unthankful and unknowing, and in the fulness of time, he saved me from my sins.
“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:6-8 NKJV
As we proceed in this world, facing increased opposition, let us remember that we have been given the mission of mercy from the Lord, to go and tell of the great salvation that that has transformed our lives. It is the ultimate act of love and mercy, for it is a moment of rescue for people who do not know that they are in peril.
Let us be especially focused on taking the Good News to those who are the most in opposition, for there is greater credit in taking them the message of the Gospel.
“bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. “But if you love those who love you, what credit 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 credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back.”
Luke 6:28, 32-34 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us look to those about us, not as enemies but as people the Lord can save. Let us be led by love, as prompts to pray for that opportunity to share the Good News.
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