Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Feed your enemies

S - 

ROMANS 12: 9-21 (NASB) 9Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 
14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20"But if your enemy is hungryfeed himand if he is thirstygive him a drinkfor in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
O - I know this letter is to the church at Rome, and therefore its audience is a group of Christians that Paul is exhorting to behave in a manner that honors and follows Christ example.   He is giving all of us a broader guidance to how we are to live the Christian life and behave in our local church, as well as interact with non-believers.   In summary this verse says behave the opposite of what your flesh and sin are prompting you to do,  in some cases, opposite of what you grew up thinking was right.  If your enemy is hungry - feed him.   That is the biggest paradox one can imagine -  an army at war with another whose supply lines are cut off and the opposing army is becoming weak with hunger.   What to do, feed them.   

A -  For the application we must understand the wisdom and uniqueness to God's solution to our behavior.  We must believe that first off He is smarter than us and that by feeding our enemy we somehow solve a problem that battling our enemy somehow would not.  The previous example when played out might look like this - your enemy is weak and aware of their circumstances - they likely will retreat and come to fight another day when stronger, or perhaps will feel trapped and desperate and therefore fight with ferver knowing they have nothing to lose.  This is our hungry, fearful enemy.  But should we decide to feed our enemies,    they may start to think, hey why am I fighting this foe of mine, when they have showed such kindness, and even if battle continues the ferocity of the battle will likely be tempered by the kindness.   I think this is the same for me, while I like to battle my enemies , it only seems to feed the fire at times that burns inside them,  but when I simply listen, or in rare occasions try and help, it always diffuses the situation allowing for  a partnership to occur that once was not there.

P -  Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that your spirit would guide me to feed my enemies vice fan the flames of discourse and discontent.    I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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