“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.” Matthew 12:18-19
Some of the leadership of Israel were getting upset with what Jesus was teaching and saying. He did not fight back at all. In fact, He left the area and went somewhere else. This was to fulfill a prophecy by Isaiah stating that He was chosen. Jesus had God’s Spirit upon Him and He would proclaim justice, yet not quarrel or cry out in the streets.
People are very quick to cry out abuse or some other crime when they are persecuted for being a believer. When a person loses a job because of his open belief in Jesus, many will call for a lawyer and try to fight back. They cry out in anger and vengeance against the world.
All over the nation people are rising up in anger against some types of sinful practices being promoted in the nation. They are making their voice be heard, but it is not always done in love. It is being shown in hate and anger.
Acting this way is not the way Jesus reacted to the people against Him. His trust was in the Father, not self strength or the government.
Many believers forget that the world will act like the world, like Satan. They are living in sin and do not know any better. Believers, however, are living in a different realm. They are in the realm of God and His love. There is supposed to be forgiveness and compassion.
Looking at a non-believer living the way he does should bring tears to the eyes of every believer. That person does not know the way to truly live life. He does not know the joy God can bring him.
When the world is against you or you see the world not living for God, do not show anger. Show His love and compassion. Actions will speak louder than words. Jesus did not cry out when they pounded the nails into His hands. His love is what will draw all men unto Him.
Don’t quarrel and cry, but show love and compassion. The world will see it and want it in the end.
I pray today that you will be filled with God’s love for people; that you will not fight the world that is against God; that God will guide the words you speak; and that you will be His witness in this world.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” Matthew 5:38-39
Jesus was giving some short teaching on various topics. One of them was looking at a tradition of men to get eye for eye and tooth for tooth. This is revenge. He tells them to not resist the person, but offer the other cheek as well.
Getting revenge is something many people like to do, although many people do not think it is an acceptable thing to get revenge. The term of revenge is often thought of as too harsh to say, even though it is really what people are doing. They want the person to pay for the crime or wrong that was done, not necessarily get revenge. Yet, revenge is what is actually happening.
The method of getting revenge is very wide range. Some strike back in the exact same way, as in eye for eye. Others will bad-mouth the person. Or find some other way to get at the person without directly touching them. Divorce, firing, and shunning are all ways of getting back at a person.
The way of Jesus runs against the traditions of man. He works on the principle of love. When Jesus was persecuted and put on the cross, He had every reason and right in the world to strike back and kill every person on the earth.
Yet, He did not strike at all. In fact, He prayed that God would forgive them because they didn’t really know what they were doing. It was the ultimate act of love, not revenge.
People will harm you, both on purpose and on accident. The way you react will show your commitment to Jesus. Jesus came to show love and told you to do the same.
When a person harms you, it the perfect time to show God’s love to them. Don’t strike back. Do not get angry with them.
As it occurs, give it to God. Seek His strength and love to love that person and not get revenge. He understands what is happening, Jesus has been there.
When you show love to a person who harms you, it may be that love that wins that person to Jesus.
Who do you need to love to today?
I pray today that God will help you love those who harm you; that God will give you peace in the process of being persecuted; that God’s love will fill your life; and that many will come to know Jesus because of you.
The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” Hosea 3:1
Hosea’s wife had been unfaithful to him and went off to be with other men. God tells him to accept her back and still love her. He takes it even further with telling Hosea to love her in the same way that He loved the Israelites, who had chosen to follow other gods.
Marriage is one area that people will often talk about unfaithfulness. One spouse becomes unsatisfied with the other and goes out seeking where that one can find love from another. As that occurs, anger and revenge usually builds up, the relationship is often destroyed and trust is lost. The spouse that was faithful, usually tell the other one that the marriage is over and will not be loved again.
People in the church are often guilty of this same unfaithfulness to God and to others. Loyal friends stab a friend in the back, striving to look better or raise higher. Hurting gossip is spread, damaging a person’s reputation or life. Turning the back on a friend in need. Telling lies behind a person’s back.
Each of these things and many more can happen, causing great pain and anger. Most people will reject a person who has done this, and refuse to have anything to do with that person. There is no forgiveness or love shown, because of the pain and anger.
Yet, God tells His people to love as He loved. God loved so much that He sent His Son to die for a people who rejected Him and did not want Him. He loved you before you even knew about Him or accepted Him.
God also loved you when you rejected Him. Think of the times when you went against God and followed this world or your own ways. Even then, God still loved you.
In this same way, you must be willing to love those who have hurt you and rejected you. Show God’s eternal perfect love to everyone around you, not just those who are faithful. It is through this love that others can learn of God’s true love. Love as God loves you.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you and others; that you will show God’s love to others; that you will trust God in the pain others put you through; and that you will be His witness to this dying and hurting world.