The Blessed Life
Luke 6: 27-31
“But to you who are listening I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
The sermon was based on Jesus’s command to love your enemies. The preacher spoke, “I’ll bet that many of us feel as if we have enemies in our lives. So raise your hands if you have many enemies.”
And quite a few people raise their hands. “Now raise your hands if you have only a few enemies.”
And about half as many people raise their hands. “Now raise your hands if you have only one or two enemies.”
And even fewer people raised their hands. “See, most of us feel like we have enemies.”
“Now raise your hands if you have no enemies at all.” And the preacher looks around, and looks around, and finally, way in the back, a very, very old man raises his hand. He stands up and says, “I have no enemies whatsoever!” Delighted, the preacher invited the man to the front of the church. “What a blessing!” the preacher said. “How old are you?
“I’m 98 years old, and I have no enemies.” The preacher said, “What a wonderful Christian life you lead! And tell us all how it is that you have no enemies.”
“All the fools have died!”
Most of us go through life and have to carry the problem of people not liking us and even worse, though we have tried to fix the situation we seem to be their enemy. They really don’t like us! They hold a grudge or they speak ill against us and they want to do as much damage to our reputation as possible.
I remember the phone call from one such man in the year 2000, “We will bring you down!” it was very unnerving as I pondered what that would mean exactly. They did try but the opposite happened as God lifted me up!
It would seem that these things are expected: You will have enemies; there will be people who hate you; they will curse you; they will ill-treat you; they will insult you; they will steal from you. The kingdom principle is to do the opposite of what comes your way and not the same response. To love, to do good, to bless, to pray, to not retaliate and to give what they need or want.
Hard that this is, it is the only way to stay in the kingdom and to let God reign in your life. Above all, it is the only way to stay blessed and happy.