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Friday, October 26, 2007

Lord don't You see all my enemies? Part 3

This has been such a fun study to do with you guys, I love all your input! I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who struggles in this area! :)

Matthew 5:43-45
"You have heard that the law of
Moses says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy.

44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who
persecute you!

45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of
your Father in heaven.
NLT


Isn’t it interesting that God does not seem as concerned with what our emotions are, or how bad we’ve been treated. No exceptions- love ALL enemies- even the really bad ones! But we have to think of Him as a Father who has our best interest at heart... just like with our children, we want what is best- not what is momentarily pleasing (ie. revengeful thoughts and fits of anger).

Ok, so you might be thinking, what about the time that Jesus got angry?

John 2:13-16
13 When it was almost time for the
Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 In the temple courts He found men selling cattle,
sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.

15 So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from
the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money
changers and overturned their tables.

16 To those who sold doves He said, "Get these out of
here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"
NIV


It seems that Jesus in contradicting himself, but that is only because we don’t understand righteous anger. The Bible teaches us to be angry and sin not. Jesus was motivated by righteousness to protect His Father’s house and people.

He loved these people, but was upset by their sin.

Walking in love does include standing boldly at times, but not at the expense of
love. Love always needs to be our motivation in confrontation.
If we are motivated by self-preservation, our motives are wrong.
True self worth is found in knowing who we are according to the Bible AND believing it for ourselves.
Psalm 37:5-6
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in
him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the
dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
NIV


Are you willing to wait for the Lord to bring about the truth and justice of your circumstances, even if it does not happen in this lifetime?

God has taught me four very important words:
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My motivation in all things should be for the glory and honor of God, never for my glory OR my self-preservation. My pride doesn’t want to hear that, but it is so freeing to finally lay down our own selves and sense of self- protection.

Our pride will entice us to focus on ourselves instead of on the Lord. Making the choice to be humble is a hard one sometimes, but you can never go wrong choosing humility.
Humility brings freedom!

Pride can also come across as self-pity. Self-pity is self-destructive.

The only way we can feel sorry for ourselves
is to overlook or outright deny
the amazing/unlimited
amount of God’s love for us!

True self worth is found in knowing who we are according to the Bible AND believing it for ourselves.

Psalm 37:5-6
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in
Him and He will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the
dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
NIV
Are you willing to wait for the Lord to bring about the truth and justice of your circumstances, even if it does not happen in this lifetime?

Psalm 37 is a wonderful chapter about our enemies, for further study read it for yourself and let the Lord speak to you through it.

22 comments:

Dust-bunny said...

I find it so ironic that you've posted all these articles on forgiveness and anger right now, just as I'm going through my ordeal that will involve a great deal of forgiveness and tolerance (and humility) on my part. It really has been helpful. If anything, you've helped me to realize that I'm not always the "righteous" person I think I am. You are a good Christian woman who is doing wonderful things for people by sharing positive messages to learn by, and I do an awful lot of complaining! You're a good example to the rest of us.

I'm thinking of deleting my post about my BIL. I've basically been in hiding online since I posted it, so it might be a good thing all around. I created my own prison by posting all that information and worrying every day if he'll ever read it and come after me in some way. How, then, am I being a peacemaker? If anything, I've always prided myself on being able to diffuse tense situations and having the ability to calm people down. By keeping that post up, I risk a lot of drama, and I will have caused it, even if I didn't cause the original act of hurt. And also, I don't want to live in fear, and I basically have been since it was published.

I know I'm rambling...sorry...but I wanted to thank you for helping me to understand what road I should go down. I think I already knew, but my human ego and pride got in the way of my spiritual good judgement!

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

dust bunny,
Let me say that I am writing this out of experience, I have blown it so bad in this area that I have learned the hard way! I don't ever want to give the impression that I have it all together and I'm teaching the rest of you. :)

I think that you have to follow the Lord on this, let His peace lead you.

I think you have been through an extremly difficult situation that any one of us would have struggles with what to do.
The fact that you are looking at this situation again and questioning your own decisions shows that you are mature in the Lord.

I'm praying for you.
(((hugs)))
Sue

annie said...

Another great post, so glad to read it this morning. I know I forget that it's not all about me :o) many days and I have to remember that! So, thanks for the reminder. Also self pity is self destructive. I think the devil attacks me in this way sometimes and I have to quickly remember that I am blessed beyond measure!

Janet said...

I am really loving these posts, Sue. They are very convicting, but also wonderful! I love how you talk about biblical truths. It makes me so happy, Sue. Thank you so much!

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Annie,
I can't imagine all that you've been through with your little one.
I'm sure satan has worked you over the coals with it. I am so blessed though by the way you are walking through it and all God has shown you. You are a gem!((hugs))

Janet,
I love it when God steps on my toes, so I share the joy with all of you!
:)

Ruth said...

i love you sue. thank you for speaking truth. i've been wrestling through some things this past week and finding that there are a lot of scriptures that i do not want to take literally! i try to reason it out with God my own"view" on how christianity should look. (eg what my definition of "the poor" is etc)

WHATEVER RUTH! trying to rewrite the bible can be exhausting...
:)

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Ruth! LOL!
I completely resemble that remark :)

Hey, I am listening to a new song that I LOVE...you would too.. so would all of you ladies...

It is called "Faithful God" by Shannon Wexelberg...just sitting here listening and crying my eyes out because He's so good!!!
Check it out on itunes, you won't regret it I promise!

Sue

Sheri said...

Thanks so much for sharing this study. I love the way you've summed it up with the words, "It's not about me." That's something that's easy to remember and I can remind myself of this quickly.

Thanks also for the challenge at the end about waiting for the Lord to bring about the truth and justice of our circumstances, even if it does not happen in this lifetime. It's a tough one, but the right thing to do!

Check out my blog for pictures of the pumpkin patch. I wish you'd been able to join us! Have a great weekend.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Sheri,
Oh I love the pictures! I will have to meet up with you all for one of your upcoming events.

Thanks so much for the invite!

I tried to comment on your blog but I'm in the motorhome and the internet is being goofy tonight, surprised I made it to this page.

Blessings,
Sue

Heather C said...

Another great one, Sue! :)

I want my life to be characterized by this passage:

"The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide." (Psalm 37:30-31)

I have so far to go... but by His grace I'm getting closer. Thanks for walking with me :)

Heather

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

OH Heather I love that!

Thanks for walking we ME!
:)

Sharon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bev Brandon said...

Brooke is cancer free! The pre-cancer cells are in a normal range. Her outpatient hospital stay in Bangkok was a success. Can't thank you enough, Sue, for praying for my sweet girl. I wept when I saw your comment to her. Thanks so much for your tenderness. Looking forward to hearing your answers.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Bev,
So thrilled to hear about Brooke, that must just set a Momma's heart at ease!

Ok, I answered your question, I hope. I thought everyone forgot about that 100th post! I was hoping that anyways! :)
I am much more comfortable talking about Him than me.

Sharon said...

A little something for you on my Sunday post!

Anonymous said...

Sue,
Something I heard you teach once regarding marriage and being a Godly wife has been going through my mind tonight-from Proverbs, how "a foolish woman tears down with her own hands, but a wise woman builds up."
I've been a really foolish woman lately, and I just kept hearing your voice saying that verse in my head! So I just got done writing a list of things I am proud of my husband for to give to him. I need to build him up and stop acting like such a foolish, desperate woman. Just thought you should know-thank you Sue.

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

anonymous,
Thanks for sharing that. A wife that supports and builds up her husband is a powerful tool in the hands of the Lord!

Mel's World said...

Sue...

You continue to bless and amaze me! Girl, you knock my socks off...that was right smack dead on and you put it so getnly. You didn't beat us over the head or make us feel guilty about it, but gently (like you always do) guide us back to the narrow path (how DO you do that?).

I met with a friend from another church about 2 hours away from here and she blessed me with a story similiar to yours AND mine...and what do you think was her message to me today????

Give you one guess...CHOOSE to forgive, don't wait for the feelings..."Bless those who persecute you"...

Yikes...I feel a post coming on...

Melissa

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

I like when you said, "just like with our children, we want what is best- not what is momentarily pleasing." So true. Sometimes it's hard to see beyond our own hurts, but God does and wants to move us beyond our pain to find healing. Great post!

Tamatha said...

I just finished reading thru Part 1, 2 and 3....so when does this book come out? I want one!:o)

Sue @ praise & coffee said...

Not soon enough! Ugh.
I have given myself a deadline of the first of the year to have the manuscript ready, pray for me please!
:)
Sue

freetofly said...

Sue, very powerful theme and words! Clearly these are words you strive to live by. It shows in the wau you speak them. Thank you for sharing them! P.S. an entirely beautiful site. My 1st time here.

I recently posted on Forgiveness and it was along the same lines...

As I read these comments and the commonality of our shared struggles and victories, it reminds me of the times we live in:

From the amplified:
Matthew 24:
10And then many will be offended and repelled and will [e]begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.

and then a few verses down

12And the love of [f]the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,

13But he who endures to the end will be saved.

We win because we don't give up! :) Tool cool! We just can't lose!
Maria

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