October 10, 2022

Opposite World

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. Luke 6:35

The next section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is what I like to call living in opposite world.  Jesus lists the responses we are to have when someone as doing wrong thing.  It is not the natural way to react when you are treated badly, but it is the godly way.  Take a look at the list below and see if there are some opportunities for improvement in your life?

Someone is your enemy                                         Love them

Someone hates you                                                                                     Do good to them

Someone curses you                                                                                    Bless them

Someone spitefully uses you                                                                       Pray for them

Someone hits you on your cheek                                     Let them have the other cheek too

Someone takes your coat                                                               Give them your shirt also

Give to anyone who asks                                                       Don’t expect anything in return

The amount of grace you want to be given                       Give that amount of grace to others

Jesus went on to say that what credit is it to you if you love those who love you?  Even sinners and those far from God do that.  How are you any way different from the world if you only do good for those who are good to you? That is the same attitude those in the world have.  If you lend hoping to get it back, you are just like everyone else in the world.  But Jesus called His disciples to a higher standard of living, God’s standard.  He told them to love their enemies, do go and lend hoping for nothing in return.  Then their reward would be great and that is how they showed the world that they were children of the Most High God.  He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Jesus showed His disciples how to imitate Him by being merciful, just as God in heaven is merciful.

He wants the same thing for you and me today.  He wants us to be different than those who are without a Savior.  He wants us to lead people to His love by loving others and being gracious to the lost.   He wants us to be His representative in the world by displaying His way of caring for others and He wants us to do it by loving others the way He loves us.  This is what helps me remember that I am God’s ambassador in the earth.  I care and love others because of who I am in Christ Jesus, not because of who they are and how they behave in the world.  If I wait to see how others are going to treat me to decide how to respond, I give them the power to control my actions and reactions.  Likewise, if I decide ahead of time that I am going to love others because I represent the kingdom of heaven and want to be like my Father in heaven, I am the one that takes control of the situation and open up the door for God’s love to reach the hurting soul I am exposing that love to.

Today I want to encourage you to move to Opposite World.  Decide to take on the heart of God for others and begin loving the hurting and lost around you right now.  Don’t wait until you are in a bad situation to decide how you are going to teach others about right and wrong.  Instead, show them how right responds by loving them despite their behavior.  God isn’t asking us to make people do the right things.  He is telling us the way to be effective by loving, caring and forgiving like He does.  Only then will we open the way for the Holy Spirit to come into the circumstances to turn things around for good and not evil.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 

28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 

29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 

30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 

31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 

33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 

34 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. 

35 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. 

36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

Published by L. Lyden

Lynette is a recently published author and coordinator of Voices Magazine who endeavors to use her gifts and influence to encourage and promote aspiring writers. Her Daily Dose blog has been an outlet for her to encourage readers to walk closer to God each day. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who loves spending time and going on special outings with her family.

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