Today’s Devotional – January 16th (How To Love Your Enemies)

By admin On January 15th, 2014

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“Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Today’s Devotional – January 16th

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How To Love Your Enemies

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“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you…

Luke 6:27-30

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Jesus Speaks Near Treasury- James Tissot courtesy Brooklyn Museum US public domain

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PAUL’S SPIRITUAL GROWTH

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If one reads the book of Acts carefully, it will be discovered that the Apostle, Paul, was on a learning curve, as they say.

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That is, Paul made some dreadful mistakes along the way.

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For instance, in Acts, Chapter 23, when slapped, Paul in a heat of the moment cried out… “God shall smite thee, thou whited wall” Acts 23:3. Now of course, Paul should never have cursed any man, but instead, should have left such things in the hands of God.

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But that wasn’t all! For just a little while later, when being opposed by the Jews, he saw an opportunity to divide his enemies (Pharisees & Sadducees). And so he made a very controversial statement, knowing that it would spark a heated debate between the two factions. And it did.

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But as these two groups began arguing with each other, over this question, Paul almost got torn in pieces!

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Fortunately, God rescued Paul.

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Paul in Prison www.thebiblerevival.com US public domain

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PAUL REACTED IN LOVE & RESPECT

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But it is evident that Paul had finally learned his lesson, when standing before King Agrippa and Governor Festus, in Acts, Ch. 26.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nikolai_Bodarevsky_001.jpg

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You see, right in the middle of Paul’s defense of himself, Festus cried out, probably in a mocking manner… “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad!” Acts 26:24

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Now at this point, Paul could have easily responded in anger at Festus’ insult. But he didn’t! Instead, Paul said very gracious words in return to Festus. And as a result of Paul’s soft and respectful answer, the king Agrippa, who was listening to this exchange, said to Paul… “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian!” Acts 26:28.

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You see, if Paul had lost his temper, the king would never have been persuaded (almost). But Paul had passed his test!

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And God had now prepared Paul for his ultimate evangelistic encounter…Caesar, the Emperor of Rome, whom he was going to testify before, in the next few years.

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Paul before Agrippa and festus Nikolai Bodarevsky wikimedia US public domain

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LIFE THRU THE LOVING EYES OF JESUS

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And this little account of Paul’s spiritual growth is a wonderful lesson for us today!

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In a day when it is so easy to judge, speak critical words to, or simply despise so many flawed people we see on TV, or in the workplace, or even in our own home, we have to remember that we have been chosen to be “ambassadors for Christ”, (2nd Corinthians 5:20.)

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And as such, we have a solemn duty to treat each and every person, be it spouse, or children, or neighbors or strangers, or even politicians with the utmost tender respect, as possible candidates for Heaven. And becoming Christ-like for the hope of the Salvation of souls, should be our great purpose, shouldn’t it?

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But more than this, we need to see all of humanity through the loving eyes of Jesus.

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Yes, even our enemies! God created them, and until we walk in their shoes, we need to keep from judging them.

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Jesus comforting Mary – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS

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It is amazing what a little love and a little respect can do, to patch up a broken relationship.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anger_during_a_protest_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

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And to give a gift in secret to one who has been offended will go a long way in mending a wounded soul!

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Remember our key Bible passage… “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” Yes, here is the formula for winning souls to Christ.

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So if a cashier speaks rudely to you, try Paul’s tactics, and speak lovingly and respectfully back.

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And let’s remember how many times over the years, that you and I have failed in treating others kindly!

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Anger during a protest – by David Shankbone – Wikimedia – Share-alike-License

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UNLOVING SITUATIONS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Columpio_Veracruz_059.jpg

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So if your spouse is cold and unloving, instead of returning that cold loveless-ness, why not go and pray for grace to be warm, forgiving, and deeply respectful to that precious soul created and given by God, your spouse?

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Fraternal love (Prehispanic sculpture from 250–900 A.D., of Huastec origin) wikimedia public domain

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THE FORSAKEN

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Helping_the_homeless.jpg

Or what about that overweight person in the mall, or that drunkard begging?

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Are not their souls every bit as precious to Jesus as yours or my soul? Therefore because they too are dear and precious in the sight of God, they should be dear and precious in our sight as well.

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Oh yes, their manners may be course and rude, and even obnoxious! And their appearance may be ravaged by time and circumstances.

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But a little sympathy and understanding on our part will transform our revulsion to them, into sympathetic, Christ-like love for them.

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Helping the homeless wikimedia share-alike license

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Give me that spirit of love, for each member of the human family. Give me that deep respect for every precious soul whom you have died for, whether in my home or neighborhood, or around the world…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Parable of the Sheep & Goats: The Greatest Gift” or you can also read… “Moon Into Blood Trilogy: 2nd Face: The Pharisee Scorner”

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THE END

.Orion Constellation at Eagle Ridge

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

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“THE SCORNER (THE PHARISEE)”

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Please tilt your head to the left. Do you see a man with a very long pointed nose. (Obviously, the sketch to the right is just an exaggeration in order to help you find the face in the photo to the left.)

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Do you see an angry look? His right eye-brow is raised as if he is judging.

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This face in the Moon appears to be that of a combination of a man as well as a fox. Or maybe a wolf. Doesn’t he have a long narrow nose like a wolf or fox? Maybe even a dog. Nevertheless, the expression on his face, as he appears to look down upon the Earth, is that of scorn, as if he is disgusted at the sinful planet below. He is very moral, you see.

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ABOVE PICTURE – Moon – 2nd Face – Pharisee Scorner

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Moon Into Blood Trilogy: 2nd Face: The Pharisee Scorner”

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TOMORROW:

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January 17th (4 Winds of Doctrine Now Blowing!)”

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.http://christianimagesource.com/prophet_jeremiah_g341-prophet_jeremiah__image_2_p2281.html

20 MINUTE+ AUDIO STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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YOU CAN ALSO GO TO www.familyradio.org TO LISTEN TO OR DOWNLOAD MORE OF THESE JEREMIAH STUDIES.

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THIS IS STUDY #16 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.com – Public Domain

 

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