Proverbs 25:21-22 Caring For The Enemy

Giving hands

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22 

Every person will have at least one enemy. There will always be at least one person who will be an enemy to each person on this earth.

The enemy can be one who is physically fighting, or it can be one who is just verbally fighting against a person. Either method of fighting can inflict great damage to a person.

According to the world, when a person has an enemy, he should strike back as hard as possible, harder than he was struck. One has the right to get revenge upon the enemy. No love or care should be shown, because of the damage the enemy had done.

Solomon states that one should give food and water to the enemy as needed. In doing this one will get a reward from God.

Helping the enemy in his time of need goes against the standard of the world. The world sees that when the enemy is down, then it is the time to strike that much harder and destroy him.

However, since God is love and He wants every one of His followers to show the same love He shows them to others, one should show love to His enemy. Showing love is caring for the person in his time of need.

It is not difficult to provide a little food and water to one in need. This is a live demonstration of God’s great love to the believer, being shown to the enemy.

This can also cause the enemy to realize the error of his ways, maybe causing a change. God will also reward the one who cares for his enemy.

Just like the rest of the world, you will have some enemies. There will be some people who are out to hurt or destroy you. You have a choice as to how you will react to their attacks.

You can be like the world and strike back and hate them. Or you can choose to be like Jesus and show love.

Jesus showed you great love for you when you were His enemy by dying on the cross for you. God is not necessarily asking you to die for your enemy, but to just give them some food and water in their need.

How are you caring for your enemies?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you and all people; that you will show God’s love to your enemies; that God will guide you in helping out your enemies; and that your care to others will be a demonstration of God’s love to them.

Fruit Of The Spirit: Love

Love on a fence

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

In the book of Galatians, Paul is talking to the church in Corinth. He is looking at a church that is being divided in what it means to be a believer in Christ. Some were stuck on the old way of doing things, such as circumcision and what is ate. Others were saying that there was freedom in Christ.

Paul points out that there are two ways to walk in this life. One is in the flesh, which is living in sin and sinful ways. The other is living by the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit, which is living in righteousness and holiness.

Man at two paths

The challenge now comes in as to what does it look like to be holy before God. What does it look like to live a holy life or to walk by the Spirit?

Actions that occur in life have results. These results show the true nature of the action. Driving too fast around a corner will result in a crash. Telling lies will result in being untrustworthy.

Plants grow up and bear some type of fruit. It is a result of the plant growing and maturing and doing what it is supposed to do. Each plant bears fruit in accordance to what type of plant it is. An apple tree cannot bear oranges, but only apples. A pear tree cannot bear apples, but only pears. It has to keep within its own nature and what it is supposed to do.

Apple tree

Just as there a signs of what something is by its fruit or results, there are signs and results in those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Every believer will want (or should want) to live and walk as Jesus did. He was always led by the Holy Spirit in everything that He did.

Believers who are walking as Jesus did by the Holy Spirit will bear the fruit of the Spirit. There are results that will show when one is walking with God.

The first fruit that I will be looking at is love.

Couple on a bench

Love is something that people talk about a lot. They fall in love, they fall out of love. They love something. They love someone. They love to do certain things. And the list goes on. Yet, what is love? Is this the love Paul was talking about as a fruit of the Spirit.

To find out what love is we must look to the bible and see what its definition is. The greatest short definition of love is found in 1 John:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 

God is love and Jesus is the exact representation of God–love. God does not just tell us that He loves us, but He shows His love for us.

It is easy to say that you love someone or something, but it is harder to prove it. It takes effort on your part to show it.

Showing effort is easy sometimes. When things that are going well for you or people are treating you well, it is easy to say that you love that something or someone.

Running stairs

The real test of your love comes when things are not going well and others are not treating you correctly. You may love your car when it is running correctly, but it is easy to begin to hate and despise it when it keeps breaking down or has faults in it. How you react to the situation or person determines if you are showing love, if you really love the person.

Most often when someone treats a person badly, the reaction is anger and striking back, retaliation. People want to get back at the person or get even with him. Does this show love?

No, it shows selfishness and hatred.

Selfish me

Selfishness is the exact opposite of love. Love is all about the other person, whereas selfishness is all about self.

Look back at the verse John wrote. God showed His love by sending His Son as a sacrifice for your sins. Love is action, not just words. It is self-sacrificing action for others. Love is putting others above yourself, your needs, wants and desires.

This is the very opposite of what the world wants and displays. The majority of the world is all about self. This even occurs when large donations are given. The donations are given for a tax break or to look good to others, not out of true love. Often the donations are given out of the abundance, not out of the limited and need, or sacrificially.

Giving blood

Sadly many in the church have fallen into the same way of thinking as the world. People do various ministries in order to look good to God or to other people. They want to be seen as holy and righteous, when in reality they are very selfish.

Showing the love God shows will often be difficult and painful. The one who shows true love will often get hurt by the ones they are showing love to. Yet, this is what God wants of the believer.

We, as believers and followers of Jesus, are to be just like God–love. We should be the embodiment of love, love incarnate.

As you are led and walking by the Holy Spirit, you will begin to show that perfect love. It may not be perfect, but it is striving towards the perfect love of God each and every day. Love will govern every thought, action and word each and every moment of every day. It will never take a day off from loving. It will never set love aside for selfish reasons or to get out of the struggle to love.

Love tiles on bible

The other benefit of showing true love is that you will not sin when showing that love. You will love God, so you will not do anything against God. You will love people, so you will never try to hurt them in any way on purpose. You will make the right choices every time, because they are motivated by love and by God’s love for you.

Seek God to reveal to you how your love life is. Is it an example of the temporary, selfish love that the world shows? Or is it the love that God has for you and this world, perfect, unselfish and self-sacrificing?

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill you up with His love. Allow His love to govern your every thought, action and word. Let the fruit of love be evident to every person who sees you.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. Next week I will be looking at the next fruit–joy.

Psalm 29:11 Strength And Peace

Nature deer lake

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 

Moving forward in life is very difficult for many people. They get worn out from the battles that are in their lives. As they are going through their days, challenges rise up to stop them or divert them from the path they desire to be on.

The greatest battles that many are fighting are to have more possessions, which is believed will bring more peace and contentment in their lives. In order to get more, people will work more. As they work more, they get worn out and wear down, which then causes them to lose their peace, fearing they will lose what they have obtained or are aiming for.

In the middle of all this, there is also very little peace because of the fighting that is going on in this world of crime, abuse and wars.

David states that God gives strength and peace to His people.

The strength that God gives is the ability to keep going day after day. It is the ability to stand up and keep moving forward in spite of difficulties or battles. When the world is trying to take a believer down, he is given power to stand up and hold on to his belief in God.

God’s peace comes upon the believer in the middle of the battles. He can know that no matter what happens, God is on his side and in the end will gain eternal life. As the world is falling down all around him, the believer has a supernatural peace that God is still in control of everything. When the world is dark all around him, the believer has God’s light shining in him showing him the path to take, bringing great peace and comfort.

No matter what is going on in your life, God is with you. Look to Him for your strength to keep moving forward. As the world attacks you and strives to pull you down, keep in mind that God is with you and gives you all that you need for the battle.

Hold on to the peace that Jesus is giving you. This peace is not the absence of trouble in your life, but that God will bring you through all troubles. It is a peace that in your heart that passes all understanding. You are at peace with God, which means everything.

I pray today that you will know God’s power in your life; that God will give you the needed strength to make it each day; that your heart will be filled with the peace of God; and that you will rest in knowing that God will help you through every battle.