Posts Tagged ‘Love’

“The end of the world is coming soon.  Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.  Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.  Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”  (1 Peter 4:7-9)

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil.  He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.  Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.  Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.  So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.  All power to him forever! Amen.” (1 Peter 5:7-11)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.  All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!” (Psalm 111:10)

“Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

“Fear of the Lord leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.” (Proverbs 19:23)

Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Alex Jones is the head of an independent news and media outlet in America called Info Wars” at http://www.infowars.com.  He is committed to reporting stories that the mainstream media does not report on and, as such, he has uncovered the truth about many events over the years.  His focus is largely on the shadow agenda of the one-world government elitists and because of this he often gets mocked.  Even the American President has taken his mocking stabs at Alex Jones, attempting to attack his credibility.

In the video, Alex Jones shares with his viewers that he senses that something horrible is happening or has already happened and it’s just a matter of short time before the world is impacted.  He senses ominous tension in the air and has asked many if they feel or sense something similar.  They all have.  No one can quite identify what is wrong, but it is enough to cause them anxiety and worry about the unknown that they are not usually susceptible to.  Understanding that we are spirits living in physical bodies, of course we would discern that something is amiss, especially if we are Christians and in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit Who know all.  However, the Holy Spirit does not give us a spirit of fear, anxiety or worry, as these are not godly attributes.  But if we are spiritually alert and watchful, we all sense that the end is near and the world is speeding towards it.

Scriptures tell us that a world government will happen and that events in the last days will usher it in.  There are so many events happening at this time that we do not really know which events are occurring naturally and which ones are orchestrated to push the world along, but the details do not matter.  Everything is leading us to the return of Christ Jesus and Christians should be alert, watching the times, staying faithful in everything we do and praying at all times about everything.

Instead of worrying and living in fear, like the rest of the world is doing, we should be quietly making sure our lamps are full of oil; we should be prudent in every way, confidently taking care of our business and trusting that the Lord God Almighty is with us.  We should be ever conscientious of how fragile we are, how temporary life is, how temporary our belongings are, how limited our time is and how naked we truly are.  Having our minds right about our place in life puts everything that is happening on Earth into the proper perspective.  It helps us not to cherish the things and our lives in this world.  Jesus told us not to love our lives here; to not try to hang on to our lives, but rather to hate our lives in this world.   He did not use the word “hate” in the sense that we usually understand it; he was not taking the view of those who are depressed, hopeless or hateful.  He was highlighting that anything done apart from him is futile and will not withstand the refining fires of God’s judgment anyway.  We are to live in Him.  We are to bear fruit in Him.  We are to follow Him.  Our lives revolve around Him.  And if we are focused on Him as we should be, our attitude towards the things of this world is that none of it matters much.  We are pilgrims passing through, stewards of the Kingdom of God, voices in the wilderness. We have been given one job: to love others and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whatever time we are given on Earth.

Let the foolish try to harness control and power.  Let them waste their lives on Earth trying to enslave, manipulate and maneuver for domination.  Let them build monuments to themselves and steal from those who are weaker than they are.  Let them hoard all the riches they can.  They are wicked.  Their story has been told thousands of times through history.  An eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth awaits them.  Their lives will come to nothing.  They will be forgotten and no one will think of them anymore.  All their scheming and effort and sleepless nights will amount to nothing but eternal misery.  Pray for them, that they are able to escape their own wickedness by turning to God and repenting before they are out of time.  

Indeed, we know that evil is real on Earth.  The devil is just like the foolish people of Earth and we already know how his story ends. As we watch, we watch with the understanding that we live in the last days.  Be surprised at nothing. Let no evil overwhelm you. Hearts will wax cold and that coldness will even turn children against their parents, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, and this will be world-wide.  But, let no evil event send you into hiding.  Christians are called to light our lamps and place them where they can be seen at all times, by everyone.  We are to be the ones that love when no one else will love.  Yes, something wicked this way comes.  But we are not to fear it.  We fear only The Lord God Almighty who has already conquered death through His Son Jesus Christ.

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There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all.  There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord.  God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.  A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.  To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.  The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.  He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy.  He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit.  Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.  It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts.  He alone decides which gift a person should have.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

“Dear brothers and sisters, if I should come to you speaking in an unknown language, how would that help you?  But if I bring you a revelation or some special knowledge or prophecy or teaching, that will be helpful.  Even lifeless instruments like the flute or the harp must play the notes clearly, or no one will recognize the melody.  And if the bugler doesn’t sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle?  It’s the same for you.  If you speak to people in words they don’t understand how will they know what you are saying?  You might as well be talking into empty space.  There are many different languages in the world, and every language has meaning.  But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me.  And the same is true for you.  Since you are so eager to have the special abilities the Spirit gives, seek those that will strengthen the whole church. Well, then what shall I do?  I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand.  I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.  For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you?  How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying? You will be giving thanks very well, but it won’t strengthen the people who hear you.  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.  But in a church meeting I would rather speak five understandable words to help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.  Dear brothers and sisters, don’t be childish in your understanding of these things.  Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature in understanding matters of this kind.  It is written in the Scriptures: ‘I will speak to my own people through strange languages and through the lips of foreigners.  But even then, they will not listen to me,’ says the Lord.  So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers.  Prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers.  Even so, if the unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your church meeting and hear everyone speaking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy.  But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say.  As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, ‘God is truly here among you.‘” (1 Corinthians 14)

When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them.  I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.  You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.  Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.  A good tree cannot produce bad fruit and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.  So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire.  Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” (Matthew 8:15-20)

The Kingdom of God is orderly. 

When non believers look at Christians, they should see order; they should see deliberate, clear, righteous living.

The Apostle Paul, in his many letters to the churches, took great care to explain the expectations of how the Church is to conduct itself.  And what stands out more than anything is that if an action’s fruit is helpful to the Church and/or strengthens the Church, it is good.  If an action’s fruit is confusion or chaos, it is not of God, but of some other spirit.

Many of us have never personally experienced speaking in tongues or prophesying or the gift of healing or performing miracles. Yet, wolves in sheep’s clothing and their followers who would have us believe that we are not saved if we haven’t experienced these things, especially speaking in tongues which they say is the so-called ‘evidence’ of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In fact, there are whole denominations centered around speaking in tongues and the phenomenon known as “being slain in the spirit”.  Unbelievers who walk into these “churches” experience chaos and hear incomprehensible blabbering that no one in the room understands.  They see people falling down and moving like they’ve been electrocuted.  They see pastors (many of whom are broadcasted on television) blowing in people’s faces and touching their foreheads, which somehow causes the people to fall down, prostrate.  This is chaotic, not orderly.  What fruit do these actions bear?  How do these things help or strengthen the Church?

In any other circumstance, if someone was behaving that way, we would call an ambulance or the police.  We would think they are out of their mind, on drugs or drunk.  There may not be a more gross demonstration of spiritual pride as conscientiously opening our mouth to utter sounds in front of others that neither we nor anyone who hears us understands or by behaving in ways that we wouldn’t dare do in public, like randomly falling down and spasming.  People who do not have control of their faculties do these things; something’s wrong with them, not right.  This isn’t something the Church of Christ should be striving for, but running from.  If there is a spirit involved in this, it is NOT the Holy Spirit of God.

The Scriptures clearly teach us that where the Holy Spirit gives one person the gift of tongues, He gives another the gift to interpret what is being said by the person who is speaking in tongues.  Where He gives one the ability to prophesy, He gives another the ability to discern what the prophetic message means. He gives gifts where they are needed, in an orderly fashion, to help and strengthen the Church. 

And, of all the gifts even available to the Body of Christ, the most important of all is the ability to LOVE (1 Corinthians 13)

When we read the Gospels about Jesus Christ, we see his many miracles, his prayers, his actions, behavior and interactions with others.  There is not one instance of Jesus speaking or praying in front of others in a language they could not understand. There is not one instance of him healing someone and them falling prostrate, paralyzed.  Even when He cast out demons, a situation where one would think the demon-possessed person would exhibit extreme behavior upon demons leaving them, we instead see immediate calmness and self-control in the person who has been delivered from their affliction.  Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One.  The Holy Spirit does not contradict the orderly life and actions of Jesus Christ.

Quite a contrast from the embarrassing theatrics in the video below:

 

“After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come.  Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you.  For you have given him authority over everyone.  He gives eternal life to each one you have given him.  And this is the way to have eternal life — to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.  I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.  Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.  I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world.  They were always yours.  You gave them to me, and they have kept your word.  Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me.  They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.  My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you.  All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory.  Now I am departing from the world, but I am coming to you.  Holy Father, you have given me your name, now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are.  During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me  I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.  Now I am coming to you.  I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.  I have given them your word.  And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world , but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.  And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.  I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.  I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one — as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.  And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.  I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.  I am in them and you are in me.  May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.  Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.  Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me before the world began!  O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me.  I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so.  Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.'” (John 17)

The Living Word of God shares with us Jesus Christ’s last prayer before His crucifixion.  In it, we are allowed a glimpse into the mind, dreams and desires of God Almighty.

Why did Jesus do what He did?  Why did He do miracles? Why did he heal every sick person who crossed His path?  Why did He take the time to teach truth in the Temple every single day?  Why did he take the time to travel to those who didn’t go to the Temple, so that they too could hear the truth?  Why did He turn Himself over to suffer and die a terrible death when He’d committed no crime?

It all comes down to love.

Many of us have experienced the absolute bliss of loving someone and being loved by someone so deeply that we don’t want to be separated from each other even for a moment.  We want to always be in each other’s presence; we feel empty without the other.

Some of us have never experienced this, but long for it.

This ability and capacity for love is straight from the very heart of God.  This is His desire with us.  We see it clearly in Jesus’ prayer, “Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am.”  Christ was willing to do whatever it took to make sure we arrive home safely to be with him forever.  With his life, he fulfilled the requirements to make it so and he has entrusted us, whom he calls his friends, to follow in his footsteps and tell the world about him, so that they too may make it home to be with him.

The task is difficult, treacherous, full of suffering and persecution, but we are one with Christ and with each other.  And this is why Christians are also willing to pay whatever price is necessary for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even risking and giving their earthly lives, just as Christ did.

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

More than 19 million people in North Korea are forced to worship the Kim Il Sung family, wear their image on their bodies and praise them as they would God.  This ideology or religion is called Juche.

This video documents the task and difficulties of spreading the Good News of Jesus to people who live in North Korea.

Please pray for them, their efforts, their resolve, their protection and for the recipients of the Word of God, that His truth would take root in their hearts in such a way as to not be plucked from them when persecution comes.  Our Lord loves each of them and wants to be with them for all eternity.  Father, may Your Kingdom come!

 

If your enemies are hungry, feed them.  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.  Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”  (Romans 12:20-21)

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get any credit for that?  Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.  Love your enemies!  Do good to them.  Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”  (Luke 6:27-36)

Scripture makes one thing absolutely clear about love: it is not a feeling. 

Indeed, in spite of our feelings, we are commanded to love; and by “love”, we are to take Action in the best interest of others whether they are friend or enemy.  Jesus gives specific examples of what loving our enemy looks like.  And he makes it very clear that there is no special credit given to us from heaven when we do good things for and are kind to our friends and those who like us.  The positive reaction from these people is reward in and of itself and those who belong to the world do just as much, as it’s a natural thing to do.  Unless particularly selfish or wicked on some grand level, all humans by instinct do good to those we like and care about.

But when the very thought of an individual provokes a furrowed brow, we are commanded to love.  When our natural reflex at the sight of someone is a snarled lip and tightened muscles, we are commanded to do good to them.  The group of people we don’t fit in with, who make fun of us and belittle us; we are to love them, to bless them even as they curse us.  When we’ve been wronged, mistreated, humiliated, we are to love and to pray for those who hurt us.  We are commanded to be patient and kind to all.  When feelings of jealousy creep into our hearts, when we feel enraged because we didn’t get our way, when we feel irritable and stressed and are tempted to be rude, we are to check these feelings/emotions against our Lord’s command to LOVE.  Through every circumstance, we are to love.

By human standards this is impossible.  We need only to look at the turmoil of the whole world to see the effects of the world system without love. No matter the philosophy or religion, the outcome is the same: turmoil and destruction is caused by the absence of love.

Success in obeying this command to love requires SUPERNATURAL help and intervention.  Love is the great separator of the Followers of the Crucified One and the rest of the world.   The Christian is the only creature on earth who has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit of God, Who takes up residence inside of us when we believe in Christ Jesus and are born again (by professing our belief and being baptized).  It is the Holy Spirit Who intercedes for us and makes the impossible possible.  And herein lies the mystery of love; it is the essence of God Himself, Who is kind and compassionate to all, especially those who are unthankful and wicked.  Love is the most powerful weapon we possess against evil and against our true enemy Satan.

I will greet this day with love in my heart.  For this is the greatest secret of success in all ventures.  Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men and until I master this art I will remain no more than a peddler in the market place.  I will make love my greatest weapon and none on whom I call can defend against its force.  My reasoning they may counter; my speech they may distrust; my apparel they may disapprove; my face they may reject; and even my bargains may cause them suspicion; yet my love will melt all hearts liken to the sun whose rays soften the coldest clay.  I will greet this day with love in my heart.  And how will I do this?  Henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again.  I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit.  I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.  I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.  I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.  I will greet this day with love in my heart.  And how will I speak?  I will laud mine enemies and they will become friends; I will encourage my friends and they will become my brothers.  Always will I dig for reasons to applaud; never will I scratch for excuses to gossip.  When I am tempted to criticize I will bite on my tongue; when I am moved to praise I will shout from the roofs.  Is it not so that birds, the wind, the sea and all nature speaks with the music of praise for their creator?  Cannot I speak with the same music to his children? Henceforth will I remember this secret and it will change my life. I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I act?  I will love all manners of men for each has qualities to be admired even though they be hidden.  With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts and in its place will I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls.  I will love the ambitious for they can inspire me! I will love the failures for they can teach me.  I will love the kings for they are but human; I will love the meek for they are divine.  I will love the rich for they are yet lonely; I will love the young for the faith they hold; I will love the old for the wisdom they share.  I will love the beautiful for their eyes of sadness; I will love the ugly for their souls of peace.  I will greet this day with love in my heart.  But how will I react to the actions of others?  With love.  For just as love is my weapon to open the hearts of men, love is also my shield to repulse the arrows of hate and the spears of anger.  Adversity and discouragement will beat against my new shield and become as the softest of rains.  My shield will protect me in the market place and sustain me when I am alone.  It will uplift me in moments of despair yet it will calm me in time of exultation.  It will become stronger and more protective with use until one day I will cast it aside and walk unencumbered among all manners of men and, when I do, my name will be raised high on the pyramid of life.  I will greet this day with love in my heart.  And how will I confront each whom I meet?  In only one way.  In silence and to myself I will address him and say I Love You.  though spoken in silence these words will shine in my eyes, unwrinkled my brow, bring a smile to my lips, and echo in my voice; and his heart will be opened.  And who is there who will say nay to my goods when his heart feels my love?  And most of all I will love myself.  For when I do I will zealously inspect all things which enter my body, my mind, my soul, and my heart.  Never will I overindulge the requests of my flesh, rather I will cherish my body with cleanliness and moderation.  Never will I allow my mind to be attracted to evil and despair, rather I will uplift it with the knowledge and wisdom of the ages.  Never will I allow my soul to become complacent and satisfied, rather I will feed it with meditation and prayer.  Never will I allow my heart to become small and bitter, rather I will share it and it will grow and warm the earth.  I will greet this day with love in my heart.  Henceforth will I love all mankind.  From this moment all hate is let from my veins for I have not time to hate, only time to love.  From this moment I take the first step required to become a man among men.  With love I will increase my sales a hundredfold and become a great salesman.  If I have no other qualities I can succeed with love alone.  Without it I will fail though I possess all the knowledge and skills of the world.  I will greet this day with love, and I will succeed.”  (Chapter 9, The Scroll Marked II, “The Greatest Salesman In The World” –by Og Mandino)

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.  For the Lord will be displeased with you and will turn his anger away from them.” (Psalm 24:17-18)

You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  But I say, love your enemies!  Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.  For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:43-48)

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies!  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also.  If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.  Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Do to others as you would like them to do to you.  If you love only those who love you, why should you get any credit for that?  Even sinners love those who love them!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners do that much!  And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit?  Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.  Love your enemies!  Do good to them.  Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. (Luke 6:27-36)

Never pay back evil with more evil.  Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.  Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.  Dear friends, never take revenge.  Leave that to the righteous anger of God.  For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord. Instead, ‘If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.’ Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:17-21)

How do we feel inside when someone who has hurt us, humiliated or disrespected us or our loved ones falls upon hard times, devastating times?

In the world, when people “get theirs” or when “karma shows up”, it is most often celebrated.

But in the Kingdom of Heaven, rejoicing at the troubles and suffering of another person displeases the Lord.

The whole world is a spiritual battlefield and our actions can impact the eternal lives of others.  When someone is being dealt with and they are mocked or their unfortunate situation is celebrated, their hearts will harden, their hatred will grow worse.  Where they may have otherwise turned to God and repented of their sins, they may instead be lost forever.  This is not a burden that any of us wants to bear, no matter what has been done to us.

So what’s the appropriate thing to do? 

The appropriate thing is to outwardly show grace, compassion.  Depending on the wrong committed, maybe the only appropriate thing we are capable of outwardly doing is to be silent, saying nothing.  But we are commanded to love our enemies and this “love” is a verb, a word of action; actively doing good to those who hate us, blessing those who curse us, praying for them.

When God’s command to do this is obeyed, miracles happen.  Countless stories are told of the absolute worst among men and women being turned to God’s glory.  Persecutors, murderers, traffickers, wracked with guilt, show up at the doors of those they’ve hurt, asking about Christianity, asking for forgiveness.  If they are wicked and evil, they are lost, and as long as they draw breath, there is the opportunity for them to be found (Luke 15).  Once found, they turn their lives around with the help of Almighty God, crossing from darkness into light, and this is a glorious event, celebrated in heaven (Luke 15:7).

When we leave it God to serve up justice, to take revenge on our behalf, to pay back wrong-doing and we obey his command to do good to others, especially those who wrong us, we demonstrate that we fully understand the eternal stakes and are trustworthy soldiers in the service of God.

That said, it is a normal, very human reaction to feel vindicated; to experience the satisfaction of the knowledge of a wrong being righted, however our hearts tally up the score.

Whatever is going on inwardly, the safety-zone is prayer.  Prayer is the place where we are safe to be completely honest with God.  Prayer is where we say whatever our hearts are yearning to say, thanking Him for His justice, for vindicating us, that we have been able to witness it.  Tell it to the Lord alone, and then love your enemies.  In this way, while followers of other so-called gods wreak havoc across the world, seeking revenge and justice for themselves, the followers of Jesus Christ stand out as lights in the darkness.