Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Responding To Hate
Belgium has been attacked today, as France was attacked, as Russia was attacked, as many countries have been attacked in the past. It is a good illustration of how Jesus has transformed us to live by a different code than this world, to have different values and to live by a different perspective. It is vital that, as his followers, we die to the desires of our first nature and live in the Spirit, with our new nature.
Jesus called us to be something different, a new people, a new nation, to live in a new way so that the world would look in and Father would receive the glory for what they see. It is more than a love that we put on; it is a love that permeates everything that makes us unique. Let me remind you how it is suppose to look, as Jesus taught it. Remember, this cannot be achieved by our effort but instead in cooperation with the Holy Spirit:
Unfortunately too many of us call on the name Jesus without submitting to Jesus. We think it is okay to sing his praises and curse people. We think it is okay to react to the world in our flesh while fellowshipping with God in our spirit. We think this and use the excuse that we are human. But we aren't human. We are a new creation and we have been empowered to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to live differently than the rest of creation so Father will receive glory. Stop making excuses, we are going to be held accountable. Don't hate those who want to see you dead, and don't fear them; pray for them.
There is no creature on this planet that should compare to the forgiving and generous character of a follower of Jesus. We are possessed by his Spirit and thus live by his character. When we fail we are corrected but we are never permitted to excuse the failure. When we fail we should understand that we have weakness in our relationship with Jesus. When we are intimate with him we are strong in his character, sensitive to the Holy Spirit's guidance.
Why do we fail to know this is how we live, react, respond? When we fail why do we think it is okay? Why do we not understand the need to reject our error, to confess and repent of it, to ask Jesus for greater intimacy to live in the manner that pleases him? If Jesus is our Master we can't just ignore his words, they were given to enable life in us.
We are different than all the rest because we have the character of Jesus. Hate is never justified. If Jesus could ask forgiveness for those who crucified him certainly we can ask for and give forgiveness to those who do harm to us. Our calling is a higher calling of sacrificial love. So let us love those who see themselves as our enemies, those who persecute us, those who want to do harm to us; just like Jesus.