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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18: Acts 16

Here is what God is saying to me through this chapter:
I was particularly moved this morning by verses 25 and following. The jailer knew how important a prisoner Paul was and when Paul and Silas were set free by God, the jailer was going to fall on his sword and kill himself. The jailer would rather end his life than deal with the consequences of allowing Paul to escape jail. But Paul stopped the jailer from harming himself and actually stayed in the jail, even though he could have escaped. It seems that Paul’s compassion for the jailer’s situation was influential in the jailer becoming a Christ follower. Compassion for those who have set themselves up as our enemies can have a profound impact.

Here is what I will do today because of what God is saying to me:
Like Paul, I want to have enough compassion for my enemies that I put their need for God before my need for comfort. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount “it’s easy to love those who love, but love your enemies (paraphrase).” Today I want to allow compassion instead of anger to rule in my heart toward those who may set themselves up as my enemy.

2 comments:

Brad said...

Loving your enemies and putting their needs first seems to be impossible at times. It’s difficult to love those who seek to defeat you. But, if we follow Christ’s teachings, its not a choice. To love your enemy, you need to find the good in them; and when you get chance to defeat them, do not it. I will have compassion for those who are against me.

Roberta said...

The thing that has helped me the most with enemies in my life is the verse, "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against prinicipalities and powers of darkness." When I remember this, it is easier to focus on the real problem - our enemy who is Satan who turns the hearts of people to darkness. It is not the person, it is the darkness that is motivating and directing that person. It is so easy to forget this fact and see the person as the enemy instead.