It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

06 December 2010

Love/Prayer Revolution pt. 2

11:16 AM Posted by steve flores , , 1 comment
[Matthew 5:43-44] I’m still messed up by these verses. I’m still uncertain about my role in defending the faith. I’m sure I’ll create some controversy, but how much justice can I actually do defending Jesus? What is my role? Am I called to debate, convince, and persuade people to believe Jesus, especially with heated, condescending tones? Will that make them turn to Him? If I succeed with my words, then what better “convincer” can persuade them otherwise?

Here’s what sparked the questions, I believe Christians in America feel persecuted (I’m about to jump all through Matthew). Whether they are or not is another topic all together. I believe we feel like the believers in John the Baptist’s days, when Jesus spoke to them in Matthew, chapter 11, verse 12, “Since the time John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward in strength, and people have been trying to take it by force." It seems American Christians are feeling persecuted and in response to how the Kingdom of Heaven is trying to be forcefully taken, Christians are rising up to meet force with force. I don’t think it is working. One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, tried to match force with force (Matthew 26:50-51) and he was reprimanded by Jesus. In essence Jesus says, “I can defend myself.” So, should we sit back and do nothing? Absolutely not, how did the Leader, who we call ourselves followers of, instruct us to respond?

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

Love. Pray. But, we feel like we’re being bullied! Love. Pray. But, they’re telling people to not say “Merry Christmas” during the holidays! Love. Pray. But, I can’t bring my Bible to work or post Facebook comments about Jesus! Love. Pray.

Why is it so important to respond that way? Why would Jesus instruct us to not retaliate? That might take a longer blog later, but here are my quick thoughts. 1.) I feel he’ll do a better job defending Himself than me in my retaliation. I may do what Peter did (miss the mark). 2.) He knows we are a reflection of Him and that reflection is important (Matthew 10:40) because of where it eventually leads others. I believe I have a responsibility to share Jesus, no doubt about that, but I believe the convincing is Supernatural.

Enjoy another Israel Hougton song, titled “Others".

P.S. feel free to answer any of my opening questions.