Archive for blessing

The Better Life of Peace

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by greatvictories

You have heard that is was said, “You shall love your neighbor” and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the just and the unjust…Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:43-48).

As a Christian we are called to forgive no matter what. No matter how bad someone has hurt us. No exceptions.

Who would you consider an enemy, a parent, child, teacher, spouse, ex-spouse, friend, ex-friend, pastor? Have you forgiven them?  How do you respond to the enemies/adversaries in your world?

Jesus says to love ~ (an attitude or action, having a humble, self-giving heart, wanting the best for them, seeing them as God sees them).

There is a way to love our enemy ~ Jesus is our model. He doesn’t say they should face justice or that you have to have them over for dinner one night a week. But he does say to love them as a model of Jesus. “The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Benefits of loving our enemies:

There’s a physical benefit. “A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones” (Proverbs 14:30). There is scientific evidence that surpressed anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness WILL affect our health. Healing WILL begin when we forgive and work through our pain.

There’s a psychological benefit. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a).

There’s a relational benefit. “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9). Love is the only power that can turn an enemy into a friend.

There’s a spiritual benefit. “But if you do not forgive men of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Mathew 6:15). We accept God’s forgiveness, we must accept and forgive others’.

We reap what we sow. If we forgive, we reap forgiveness. If we bless, we reap blessings. “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (Proverbs 11:25).

There’s a kingdom benefit. “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brother only, what do you do more than others? Do not even tax collectors do so?” (Matthew 5: 46-48).

Love ~ Do what God has already done for us ~ Do unto others. Help those who hurt you. Return good for evil.

You may ask, “How do I do this?” Through the P-E-A-C-E process. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:17-18).

P ~ Pray for God to give you the ability and love in your heart to forgive those who have hurt you. Pray also for those who hurt you. You will get personal healing. “…bless those who curse you, pray for those who spitefully use you” (Luke 6:28).

E ~ Empathize ~ Understand what they may be going through. Find out what is really going on under the surface. Hurt people, hurt people. Love the pearl that lies in the mire. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

A ~ Act ~ Do good to those who hate you. Return good for evil. It is a choice you have to make. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

C ~ Confess ~ Be willing to admit. Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Be a man or woman of character, humbling going beyond your pride and confess, turn and receive. Ask God if you might also be part to blame? “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

E ~ Emulate ~ Imitate God! Jesus loved and forgave His enemies. Those who beat Him, those who spit on Him, those who denied Him, those who ridiculed Him and those who hung Him on the cross. What happened in the past ~ forgive. Show Jesus’ love that is working in your life. It’s tough. It’s freeing. It’s commanded. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, and offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7). Submit to God’s ways. Love. Forgive. Do good to those who hurt you.

When will you initiate  the peace process? Only then can we live the better life, the abundant life!

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Seeing People As God Sees Them

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by greatvictories

Seeing through God’s eyes ~ Part 2

Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

Now He was teaching in the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God (Luke 13:10-13).

Jesus noticed this woman and He notices you also. He knows every hair on your head!

Here are five things to help you see others…

1) Look around. How often do you observe those around you who need help?

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

Attention is necessary for a healthy life. Like a baby who needs constant attention, so the lives of people need attention.

The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

There is something peaceful when someone notices you. Life is good, life is peaceful. Connect with God. Connect with others. Slow down, you never see Jesus in a hurry. Have compassion on others.

2) Take a risk. Notice the cast away, lonely, down troddened. Jesus always took risks. A risk of what others will think of Him…

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Matthew 5:46-47)

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died…(2 Cor. 5:14).

Take a risk. Let someone know you’re going to pray for them. Do a random act of kindness. Who can you act like Jesus to?

3) Reach out to someone who is not receiving love.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).

Ways to reach out:

Jesus saw her…Look around, observe those around you who need help.

Jesus spoke to her…Do you know the power of your words? They are powerful. They speak life or death, blessing or curses.

Jesus put His hands on her…He personally touched her. We all need human touch. It is very powerful.

Tell someone this week you love them and give them a great big hug!

4) Expect some criticism. Don’t be more concerned with policy than people.

The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34).

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11).

5) Seize the moment. Make a difference in someones life.

My little children, let us not love in the word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 4:18).

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,…(1 Thess. 3:12).

Do as Jesus did, you can’t  imagine or conceive what will take place!