Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Your enemy is your friend
"However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly father." Matthew 5:44-45 (TPT)
"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the
ungrateful and the evil." Luk 6:35 (ESV)
This particular season, in terms of politics and the virus, and in terms of the Church of this present age, just reminds me of biblical discipleship. I recently read a story of a church that made headlines for what I would submit are the wrong reasons for being a superspreader for the virus.
It reminded me that Elders still have very important decisions to make during this season. It also reminded me of one of the ways Elders and all of us can use as a guide to make important decisions.
Our goal is meant to be discipleship. As it says in Matthew, "go and make disciples, baptizing them ... teaching them ..." One of the ways discipleship can be described is the learning and teaching of what it means to both act and to live out our identities in Yeshua. Jesus taught and lived out his identity in the Father. Sometimes we may forget everything Yeshua has taught us. For instance, to love our enemies. And again, sometimes we forget some of the ways we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
The body of believers often disciples (verb) others in reverse. It's called negative discipleship. We, as a body of believers, often show new and mature disciples alike how not to act like ourselves, which is acting like Yeshua. We have become adept at hating our enemies; and, saying we love our neighbors while barely tolerating them in the name of Jesus.
Instead, we are meant to demonstrate and to teach how to love our enemies. In doing so, we reveal our identities in Yeshua to our neighbors and our enemies.
We can love our enemies through relationship. The list of activities in Luke 6 is not exhaustive, but it is relational. Yeshua came to restore relationships to the Father. Our identities in Yeshua are about relationships to the Father and to both to friends and to enemies.
When Yeshua chose his closest 12 disciples, he chose some interesting fellows. In their own spheres they fit right in. Put together they didn't seem to go. It was a group of hot heads, religious zealots, a thief (who carried the money) with no particular training or preparation, the list goes on. They weren't under orders, they followed him voluntarily. So, how did they become transformed? They were transformed into the identity of Yeshua from their relationships with him.
If we want to see revival and spiritual awakening, that is transformational, we need to be living lives of transformation as a result of living out our identities in Yeshua. So, let's do that by loving our neighbors and our enemies!
Daniel and Berelyn,