“But I tell everyone who is listening: Love your enemies. Be kind to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who insult you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other cheek as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you for something. If someone takes what is yours, don’t insist on getting it back.
“Do for other people everything you want them to do for you.
“If you love those who love you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Even sinners love those who love them. If you help those who help you, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners do that too. If you lend anything to those from whom you expect to get something back, do you deserve any thanks for that? Sinners also lend to sinners to get back what they lend. Rather, love your enemies, help them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward. You will be the children of the Most High God. After all, he is kind to unthankful and evil people. Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
The person who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, because God is love.
Don’t be like the world.
Don’t be like sinners.
Have a new attitude.
Have the attitude of Christ.
If people would just read the Bible and live their lives according to the teachings of Christ and His disciples, we wouldn’t need to preach the Gospel.
Our Christian witness in this world would be unmistakable.
But sadly, that is not the case.
I’ve railed against worldliness and the traditions of man in the Church in the past.
I still love the Church.
That’s why I care so much.
This year, I’m doing things a little different.
Ok, that’s not entirely true, I’m doing pretty much everything differently.
If we search for problems, we’ll find them.
If we look for offenses, we’ll find those, too.
If we look for something to criticize, they’ll be no shortage of material.
But that’s not what we need.
More outrage and shock begets more of the same.
That’s how advertising works in our digital age.
We don’t want to fall victim to that way of thinking.
It’s addictive, evil and does no good.
Instead of looking for evil to fight, we should be championing the cause of good.
We already have the solution.
Let’s focus our attention on Him instead.
Look up to heaven when you pray instead of down.
Remember where your help comes from.
God commands us to love our enemies just as God is love.
That word in Greek is agape.
We don’t have a good translation for that in English.
Here’s how God loves: He loved us when we were yet sinners and died for us while we were still His enemies.
Love those who can’t pay you back.
Love those that don’t deserve it.
Love them as if they were your own children.
When we understand how God loves us, that should motivate us to love Him back and to love others as well.
That’s why I like to salt and pepper my words with the Gospel truth.
It’s so easy to slip back into fallen, earthen thinking.
This world is not our home.
We’re just visiting.
We’re here to share the Good News.
We’ll do some good works while we’re waiting.
And then we’ll see you in Heaven, hopefully.
That’s where I’ll be.
I’d sure love for you to come join us.
This world is a mess.
Can we all agree with that?
But fighting about who’s to blame is foolishness.
The devil is to blame.
And people who serve the devil instead of God aren’t enemies that should incur our wrath.
They need our prayers.
They need our love, grace and mercy.
They need our example and witness.
And they need to hear the Good News.
Maybe God will allow them to change their ways.
You don’t clean a fish before you catch it.
Jesus teaches us to be fishers of men, and women, and those somewhere in-between.
The Holy Spirit will clean them up.
We just need to keep on loving them.
It’s our moral responsibility for the social good.
Don’t be afraid that you’ll be stained by their sinful way of life.
God will protect you.
We each answer to Him for our own lives.
If God is with you, who can be against you?
Our God reigns.
And forever, His Kingdom will stand.
Bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.