Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

Be different…love your enemies!

700 Club Interactive - Love Your Enemies - January 19, 2017 |

This week’s devotions are based on the Week 10 “Explore God” – A Life Worth Inquiring About! (WATCH HERE)

People notice when we love our enemies.

1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

At face value, one can read this passage and say, “I agree.”  In practical application, it is very hard because our sinful nature loves to react to getting wronged by wronging the person back.

What makes these words even more challenging, especially to the first readers of them, is that people were persecuting them because of their faith in Jesus.  So their response to the evil or insult would be a direct reflection on their Christian faith.

Perhaps we believe we can get away with a little “mean” because no one knows we are a Christian.  In a sporting event, if we feel someone wronged us, it is easy to push a little harder than needed the next time.  As we drive down the road and someone cuts us off, it is tempting to speed around them and brake in front of them.  If someone says something mean about us in a meeting at work, it’s tempting to make sure gossip is spread in the breakroom about them in the days that follow.

It’s much easier to repay evil with evil and insult with insult.

But anyone can do that.  It is “normal” and doesn’t stand out.  In fact, we often hear, “They had it coming” or “They deserved it” as if repaying evil with evil and insult with insult is expected and “just.”

But what if we repaid evil with a blessing or an insult with a compliment?

That would stand out…because it runs against the normal response.

When someone does evil to you…”I forgive you” or “I will pray for you.”

When someone insults you…”I wish you the best” or “I pray for God to bless you.”

Weird, right?

It doesn’t come natural and to be honest even in writing the thought went through my mind, “What does that look like?”

We all have to work on it.

As always, we have Jesus’ encouragement and example:

His encouragement:

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

His example:

Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

The blessing from Jesus is his perfect love of enemies is the substitute we need when we imperfectly love our enemies.  The blessing from Jesus for us, is he loves and forgives us, even though because of sin, we were his enemies.

When we love and forgive our enemies, do you think people may notice? And when people notice, people ask and when people ask, we get the chance to share the reason for the hope we have.  And when we share, the Spirit of God has the chance to work on another heart.


Apply: What makes loving your enemies hard for you to do?  What is one thing you may do to show love to someone today when they insult or do evil to you?

Prayer: Father, forgive us when we fail to love our enemies.  Empower us with your Spirit to return insult and evil with a blessing.  AMEN.

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