THE ENEMIES WE LOVE
Listed below are some of the major passages describing "our enemies" - the ones Jesus spoke of whom we should love. All passages quoted from the NKJV.
Matthew 10:36 - "And a man's enemies will be those of his own household."
This thought will probably startle some Christians. Our usual idea is to deal with "enemies" from the world around us, but not from our own families! But Jesus wanted His disciples to know some people have to make a decision of turning their lives over to Jesus or yielding to family pressure and not believing in Jesus. Anyone, including people of your own family, who try to keep you from believing in Jesus, become an enemy to your soul. However, you are still to love them and seek their salvation even though they are trying to keep that salvation from you!
Romans 5:10 - "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled , we shall be saved by His life."
This verse reminds us that we were once enemies of God! But praise the Lord that other Christians loved us anyway and helped us turn our lives over to Christ!
Romans 11:28 - "Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers."
This passage speaks of the people of Israel who rejected Gentiles as having any kind of favor with God. God still loves them and He wants us to treat them with love and seek their salvation. That's exactly what Paul did. See Romans 10:1 - "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved."
Philippians 3:18 - "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ."
This passage does not necessarily only speak of unbelievers. The context of this passage in Philippians, suggest these people are indeed, believers who are not living their lives in harmony with the Gospel and bring shame to the name of Christ!
Colossians1:21 - "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled."
This passage, like Romans 5:10, reminds us where we all were before "Christ died for us." We were like aliens to God! We thought of evil and practiced evil, but God still reached out to save us and reconcile us back to God!
2 Thessalonians 3:14,15 - "And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."
Again, this speaks of believers who refuse to live their lives to honor and glorify the Lord. Note James 4:4, "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." Christians can still show them love but they are not to have close fellowship with them and certainly not do as they do! Treat them as an unbeliever who needs to get right with God.
THE O.T. PASSAGE QUOTED MOST OFTEN IN THE N.T.
This is a "homework assignment" for you. Read each passage and see what quotation from the Old Testament is quoted more often in the New Testament than any other passage. Hope you find this revealing, especially after hearing the message on Sunday Morning and seeing the Daily Verse for Sunday.
And the Old Testament passage where this quote originated - Leviticus 19:18
WHERE THE "HARVEST" CAN BE FOUND
This past Saturday's Daily Verse spoke of the "fields white unto harvest." Where are those fields? Consider these examples in Scripture. (All passages quoted from the NKJV)
A Fishing Village
Matthew 4:18, 19 - "And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Jesus didn't need an "altar call" to bring these two men to Himself! Note verses 21,22 where He found James and John there too.
A Public Office
Matthew 9:9 - "As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, 'Follow Me.' So he arose and followed Him."
Next time you pay your property taxes think about your tax collector. And your Mayor, and your town council, and other public officials.
Mark 5:2 - "And when He came out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit."
This is the man torn apart by multitudes of demons. He lived amongst the tombs of the town cemetery, but that's where Jesus saved him!
A Desert Road
Acts 8:26 - "Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, 'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.' This is desert."
It was on this desert road that Philip witnessed to the Ethiopian eunuch and led him to Christ.
The Road to Damascus
Acts 9:3 - "As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shown around him from heaven."
It was on this road that the Lord reached Saul of Tarsus, later to be known as the Apostle Paul.
A Riverside Prayer Group
Acts 16:13 - "And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made..."
It was here that Paul reached Lydia with the Gospel.
A Jail Cell
Acts 16:23, 25 - "And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely...But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."
It was here that the Philippian jailer and his family were reached with the Gospel.
The point I'm obviously making is the "Fields white onto harvest" are everywhere and anywhere people are. Keep alert, whether you're in the market, at the gas station, in your school, or workplace, or on the road - there are always going to be people who need the Lord. Keep your eyes open!
This is a follow-up on the Daily Verse for April 8, 2016, John 14:27. It's quoted again below, but you might find the commentary interesting if you haven't read it yet. Go back and read it again.
I bring a familiar study on the subject of God's Peace which may be familiar to many of you. I trust it will instruct and edify you and give you something to share with others, especially those who are new to the family of God. All passages are quoted from the NKJV.
PEACE WITH GOD - The Relationship of Peace
Romans 5:1 - "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Before we were saved we were seen as enemies to God. Our hearts were defiled by sin, we were seen as "children of disobedience," Ephesians 2:2, and our so-called righteousness was an offense to a holy God. We not only needed salvation, we needed a new relationship with Him! What is the greatest victory you can have over your enemy? Let's say you beat him in a battle, you stand over him as a victor, and he cowers under your might. You may have achieved the victory but guess what: he's still your enemy! God wanted a greater victory than that! When He saved us He did not just conquer us, He made us His own children! We no longer have to "cower under His authority." We have PEACE WITH HIM, not so much as our Victor, but as our Father! That's a peace far greater than any nation can have over another.
PEACE FROM GOD - The Source of Peace
John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you..."
Jesus made it very clear where our peace comes from - HIM! Have you ever noticed how Paul begins his letters to the various churches and individuals he wrote to? He always wishes them the peace that comes from God. He knows that is one of the greatest blessings of a believer's life. Why? Note the next way peace is mentioned:
PEACE OF GOD - The Quality of Peace
Philippians 4:7 - "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
The peace that comes from God is the peace that is of God - it's the peace He has in His heart. It's the calm assurance that He is in control and we can rest in Him. It's the kind of peace that comes when a believer submits their requests to God with anticipation and submission. We anticipate His reply, but we submit our will to Him so that His will is His answer. That blesses our hearts and actually guards our hearts from anxiety and depression. When we know God is in control, we are at ease.
PEACE ON EARTH - The Coming State of Peace
Luke 2:14 - "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
Isaiah 9:6 - "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given...and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
What this world longs for and has sought to achieve ever since men and nations have fought each other, is an enduring peace between people and governments. But all we see is a temporary cessation of hostilities only to see new arguments and wars continue. The only way for "peace on earth" to happen is for the Prince of Peace to come and set up His Kingdom! That's what will happen in the Millennium! May Jesus come soon!! And may you enjoy His peace until He does!
HOW RICH IS OUR GOD!
Note the phrase: "the riches of God's..." in the following passages. And as you do, consider that this same rich God is pouring these riches out on YOU! Are you even aware of them? Are you enjoying them? (Note my conclusion at the end).
(All Scripture from the NKJV)
Ephesians 1:7 - "In Him have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."
God is rich to give to us Redemption and Forgiveness. He could "pay the debt we owed!" He's got the riches to do that!
Ephesians 2:4,5 - "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)."
God is rich in mercy to pour out His love on us and bring us to new life in Christ when we got saved! We were dead in our trespasses. God could have left us in that condition, but out of the His riches of mercy He gave us life instead! Remember, mercy holds back what we do deserve while grace gives us what we don't deserve.
Ephesians 3:16 - "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man."
God's riches include the power and strength which only the Spirit of God can give! We have this strength as a gift from God which He wants us to enjoy in our daily walk with Him!
Philippians 4:19 - "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
We've often quoted this but as you look at the previous passages do you now realize just How Rich is Our God in giving us more than "the meeting of our needs"?! But let's remember He does meet our needs,
Conclusion - If for a minute you think you "don't deserve these riches" well, you are absolutely correct!! You, I, nor any other Christian deserve anything good from God. That's why He is a GRACIOUS GOD. It's all because of His grace - we never could deserve these things. But, we can still enjoy them! OH HOW RICH IS OUR GOD!