It has been a very long day. Full of data entry, reading small print....and zero relaxation. Until now. I am finally sitting down on my couch, ignoring the rantings of the dogs begging me to play with them (really! Moxie is picking up her pink toy and throwing it at me). Praise our wonderful Lord for moments to just breathe!
In today's devotional, I was led to pray that my heart would be more willing to be at peace. Peace with those I may not get along with, including my enemies. "Lord, help me to obey You and not repay anyone evil for evil. Help me to be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on me, I want to live at peace with everyone."
I have often heard people debate that...'live at peace with everyone.' Often times, people take that to the extreme of being tolerant, and turning a blind eye to those sinning against God, in order to not become confrontational. If I may offer a view point of mine: Jesus was offensive, and to the lost of today, He most certainly still is. Scripture tells us that His word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit (Heb. 4:12). He was and is in no way 'tolerant.' And if we as Christians are called to live as Christ, we are not to be tolerant either, and never turn a blind eye to a believer fooling with sin. But there is a way to love others, to live peaceably with them, without condoning their activities. I pray that I learn that...that we all as children of God learn that. The way we show Christ to the world influences whether or not people want to know Him. And we have got to learn to love people as Christ loved them...or we will not only hurt the reputation of believers, but of Christ Himself.
James 4:4 asks "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." Anyone who is an enemy of my Saviour is an enemy of mine as well. Fortunately, Jesus has already fought the battle, and won the victory. His blood, mercy, and unfailing grace is the reason I can come before God's throne and pray, "Help me not to take revenge but leave room for Your wrath, for You have written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay. on the contrary: if my enemy is hungry, help me to feed him; if he is thirsty, help me to give him something to drink. In doing this, I will heap burning coals on his head (Rom. 12:17-20). O Father, please cause the love of Christ to compel me to do what is right in any challenging situation (2 Cor. 5:14)."
--Inspired by "Praying God's Word," Beth Moore.