I hope you join me
It’s so easy to pray and love the people you care about, but how do I love my enemies?……..
This month I’m reading through the Sermon on the Mount and today’s reading is focused on loving your enemies. It’s so easy to love your love ones right because you LIKE them but what about the people who rub you the wrong way? The antagonists in your life? How do we deal with them? Jesus has the perfect answer:
“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48 CSB
There is call for us to love and pray for our enemies. Tough right!!! Loving our enemies is the essence of loving like Christ. Think of it this way in our sin we are enemies to God but he demonstrates his love to us.
Romans 5:8 says:
“But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 CSB
Loving like Christ requires us to BE LIKE Him.
So after reading today’s passage of scripture here is my response
Your word tells me to love and pray for my enemies. Help me to look at my enemies with the love that you’ve given so freely to me. I pray for my enemies right now. May they see your love for them through my testimony.
Let’s love like Christ today- which includes loving our enemies!!!!
This morning as I sat down with my bible, a clean page from my journal and an open heart, I began to have this open conversation with the Lord. The conversation was very honest and some would view me differently. I received my answer,as always, right from God’s word. When I started this blog I promised myself that I would with the Lord’s guidance and wisdom be as vulnerable and as authentic as possible. So here’s the conversation:
I struggle in so many ways, like Paul wrote about in Romans 7 to please you. I know the right thing to do and don’t always do it, while also knowing what I’m about to think, say or do is not pleasing to you and still I do it. Help me to daily follow you and show me your purpose for my life- as a wife, a mom and most importantly as Tristin a follower of you. Lord my question is how do I wake up every day and use every waking moment to please you? To glorify your name? I want to be used in every moment of every day to honor You. Please give me a hunger and a thirst for righteousness and for you.
As always the Lord answered me with his Word:
“After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”
Mark 1:14-18 CSB
Jesus calls for everyone to repent, believe and then to follow him. In following Him, we bear witness, so that others may believe in Him.
His answer is in plain text- Tristin live with a repentant heart, be obedient to me.
At church at the end of every sermon when we go over the application points, one of the points that is ALWAYS listed is to rehearse the gospel.
To rehearse the gospel means remember your need for a Savior- Jesus Christ and reflect on the penalty he paid for our sins and the victory we experience over sin because of his death and resurrection.
Today after reading God’s word, I did just that I rehearsed the gospel. I remembered that while I was still a sinner Christ died for me demonstrating his love for me. I remembered that in hearing the truth of the gospel- that I was sinner, Jesus died for my sins and that I could live for him- I repented and believed in Him. I remember that every day I am called to one thing and one thing only to follow Him in obedience. I remember that I can’t do this in my own strength but with the power of the Holy Spirit. After all my remembering and rehearsing my response:
May I follow you faithfully, so that other might see and believe in you.
And you have been filled by him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
As I ponder this verse today, I had to go back a couple of verses to understand what is going on in this verse. There is a lot going on too!!!! Paul the author of this letter to the church in Laodicea is writing to refute some things because there is a lot of bad teaching going on. Gnosticism- the idea “a great mass of elaborate knowledge was necessary for salvation” – was prevalent and Paul wanted to encourage believers that the fullness of God was entirely in Christ and that He has complete authority over all. In this verse, I find that word “filled” translates to the word “complete”. In fact other translations use the word “complete”. In the verses that come before Colossians 2:10, Paul is basically saying hey forget about all the knowledge and worldly wisdom that others are giving you. Remember that the fullness of God is in Christ- this verse- and you are MADE complete in Christ and He is the Boss!
What I love most about Scripture is that it is God breathed and inspired by Him. He used men to write His words!!! So just like the Church in Colossae had something to learn back then, I have something to learn from this verse too. Truth bomb for you all- just like the believers in Laodicea- I struggle immensely with letting the wisdom of the world affect how I make decisions. It affects the kind of wife I am to my husband and the kind of mother I am to my son. I find myself trying to step outside of my priorities as wife and mom do other things and RIGHT now my priority is to my family. This verse encourages me to remember nothing else completes me but Christ. He is my boss- the Lord of my life. I fail every time without him ruling over every aspect of my life. The question that has to echo throughout the day is “Tristin, who’s the boss? Is it You? Is it (fill in the blank) or is it Christ himself? I want the answer to be Christ at any given moment.
I don’t know about you , but for me the Christian life is HARD. Sometimes. I feel as if Dying to self and living set apart is the greatest struggle I face. While that’s my greatest struggle, being OBEDIENT to the will of God has proven to be my greatest joy. The bible has so much to say about temptation.
Why? You might want to ask.
I believe the reason may be this: Even though we have surrendered our lives to Christ doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle or won’t be tempted to sin quite contrary I think the struggle is even greater, but when the temptation arise we do have the proper response right before us.
It is my personal opinion that 1 Corinthians 10:13 offers proper perspective to how we should handle any temptation we face. It says:
1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.
When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
What does that mean?
1. My temptation is NOT special!- Sorry to break it to you, BUT if you thought being tempted was something only YOU face, God’s word says the contrary in this verse. It says “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience…..” If you’re a believer you WILL face temptation just like EVERYONE else.
2. However God is Faithful and your temptation WILL NEVER be greater than what you can handle or the God you serve. When Paul wrote “And God is FAITHFUL. He will never allow the temptation to be more than you can stand…..” it should challenge us to quickly remember that no matter how great the temptation to do contrary to what God requires of us, it is no greater than what we can STAND. WHY?
3. The last part of this verse gives the WHY. God will ALWAYS provide an escape. Paul finishes this by saying ” When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” In any tempting situation God will always give you the victory. The failure to overcome lies on what we CHOOSE to do. It lies on who we want to serve at that moment.
So are you being tempted? Based on this verse, what’s the PROPER response?
As always Jesus is Lord and That is All
When I was a little girl, my great grandfather used to recite Psalm 23 often. It was his favorite Psalm. I wondered why he loved it so much as a little girl, but as I read Psalm 23 this morning, I understood why my great grandfather LOVED this passage SO much! Psalm 23 reminds me that God is my shepherd! In Him I have all that I need. I can rest in Him and he gives me STRENGTH. He also renews my strength. In times of uncertainty I can rest in knowing that He is WITH me! This passage of Psalm was filled with so much hope that I couldn’t help but praise God!
While this passage gave me hope, it also reminded me of how important it is to praise God in all circumstances, as David did in his own life! A verse that comes to mind is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
There’s nothing I desire more than to do the will of God! With that being said, remember Jesus is Lord and That is All