Love Your Enemies And Pray For Those Who Persecute You

I have heard and seen people who hold onto bitterness and refuse to listen to scripture and pray for their enemies.

It could be someone they know personally, it could be a type of person or just an entire group.

Sometimes a person views someone as their enemy because of race, religion, denominational differences, politics, etc.   

They say the person or group has hurt them or that they’re enemies of God, I have even heard a person say I only pray for those who the Holy Spirit guides me to pray for.

These are all not Biblical arguments.

The Bible is clear on this matter…

 Matthew 5:44 (ESV),
“44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”

None of us are worthy of God’s grace so your enemy and yourself are on the same page.

In the Bible, throughout history and today people have prayed for their enemies and those who persecute them. We must do the same.

I understand it is hard, so ask God to soften your heart, to help shed your pride and humbly reach out to Him.

Pray even if you’re angry, sad, bitter.

Just pray and the Holy Spirit will work in you.

Have a Blessed and Prayerful Week,
Chris

Bible Verses:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A44&version=ESV

Prayers For Those Who Persecute You:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/pray_for_those_who_persecute_you

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – 1 Samuel 17:1-23, 32-49

Tuesday – Psalm 9:9-20

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Thursday – Mark 4:25-41

Dealing With Anger

Proverbs 22:24-25,
24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered,
25 or you may learn their ways
    and get yourself ensnared.”

As someone who struggles with anger reading that really convicted me.

I often times feel like I lose control, I don’t even feel like me.

The truth is you see anger everywhere, sports, politics, entertainment and sadly Christianity.

Seeing so much anger in the body of Christ really grieves me and ends up ironically making me angry.

I became a hypocrite fast.

People often justify their anger and even use the Bible to add to their reasons.

But in actuality God is Slow to anger and we are called to do the same.

I know it can feel hopeless but hope can always be found in God.

While I still struggle and have bad seasons God has helped me enormously and God can help you too.

Call out to Him in.

I have a story to share that is a tough one to tell. One afternoon during a horrible time in my wife and I’s life I was having rage issues, I was angry all the time and so stressed. I really wasn’t being a good husband at all. I was in the basement of the house we were soon going to have to move out of and I really laid into God. I said horrible things and ended my tirade by saying in a very sarcastic tone, “If you were God, then you could take my angry away.”

Before I could say another word, God in His mercy did exactly that.

My angry was gone in an instant, I felt peace but then deep shame.

I didn’t deserve His mercy, His grace, I deserved quite the opposite but by His own will He chose to take my anger away in that moment.

I will never forget that day.

God is truly good.

Let Him bring peace to your life.

Have a Blessed and Peaceful Week,
Chris

-Bible Verses on Anger
https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/anger-bible-verses/

Anger Management Tips
https://pairedlife.com/advice/Five-Biblical-Steps-to-Controlling-Anger?fbclid=IwAR2S_miM2d2gKnFPPk-qhnhw6h2C5tfywXTHoJoQaosR_-ajXu8hlV6-o-I

Scripture Reading Plan For the Week: (Day Late, Sorry!)

Monday – 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

Tuesday – Psalm 20

Wednesday – 2 Corinthians 5:6-17

Thursday – Mark 4:26-34

A Wounded Person

I was praying for someone who is dear to me, they have a lot of anger and pain in their life and during the prayer I was wondering what more I could do for the person or maybe if I had done something different maybe they wouldn’t have gotten so angry in the situation.

But the Lord laid this on my heart. What I could have done would have just been a temporary solution, a quick fix that wouldn’t help long term.

It’s like this, if you have a wound that has become infected you must treat the wound to heal the infection. Placing a bandage over the wound or taking something for the pain is a temporary solution. The infection must be treated.

But if treatment fails and the part of the body that is infected is damaging and destroying the rest of you then you must remove the part that is infected.

If there is something or someone that is damaging you or destroying you, there must be treatment and God is the best medicine.

However if the problem is unfixable then it must be cut out of your life.

If there is a person in your life who is going through this you can help administer the medicine. Minister to them, show the love of God to them, show to them that God can fix them.

However be careful their wound may be contagious. Have the Armor of God on, let Him be your medicine as well.

God is the great healer, take the medicine He prescribes.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris

The Christian Obsession with condemning

Last week I wrote about the Christian obsession with Homosexuality. I didn’t plan on writing another “obsession” article but today I am writing about the obsession with condemning others.

I’ve noticed in many comment sections or forums or even in casual conversation that a lot Christians seemed focused on the sins of those around them and pointing out who is on the path to hell or is backsliding. Like it’s their mission to expose others.

Are you really trying to warn them? Think about it. How does it make you feel when you announce to a person they’re going to Hell? Does it make you feel good? Does it make you proud? Is it enjoyable for you?

When we do this it makes me wonder is it done actually to make us feel better about our own sins and mistakes?

We have a society built on proving yourself to be better than your neighbor.

Many Christians have adapted this instead of loving their neighbor as the Bible has told us to do. Do you feel better than others because of their sin? Time to assess yourself first before you judge others.

Truth is reminding people over and over about the risks of hell does more harm then good. So many Atheists who were once Christians describe the process of abandoning their faith to be freeing.

That’s really sad to hear. My faith frees me. God takes away my worry, my shame and makes me feel I have worth.

The Bible talks of redemption, it’s filled with redemption stories.

Paul who was originally Saul murdered and persecuted Christians.  The Lord made him a leader of the new way.

Redemption is God’s goal.

He wants us all in Heaven. He wants his children with Him.

Google Jesus’ mission you will find loads of articles, not one mentions his mission was to condemn.

God’s biggest concern is us looking after each other, being kind and showing love.

Love.

Its the most powerful emotion and most important aspect in the World.

Don’t just be a hearer of the Word be a doer of the Word.

Who do you know that needs love today?

Find them and show them God’s love through you.

Have a blessed week.
-Chris

Anger

Today I am writing about anger. This is hard to talk about because one of my biggest struggles is my anger. Out of nowhere something occurs, could be major or could be small and I lash out. I shout, I bang the table, throw something, kick something. Then comes the shame. Whether a short outburst or a long one, the shame comes.  My wife and I were watching the new Thor movie and there is a scene right after the Hulk has an angry moment. He calms down and is pouty, looking like  a child ashamed of himself. My wife looked right at me and motioned to the screen, I could tell what she meant. We both laughed as it reminded us of me.

While that moment was funny often times when I’m in the middle of my anger I get angry at God. I’ll question him, wonder why the thing I’m upset about is happening. Or I’ll be wondering why he won’t just take this anger from me?
The harsh truth is because I won’t let him. When I feel angry or let little things get to me that will lead to a sudden explosion later, I don’t take any steps or call out to God to help put a stop to it. I do that sometimes, maybe even often but not enough to truly overcome my anger. God can do it. I even have an example of him doing it.

It happened during a very rough time in my and my wife’s lives. My Dad had died the previous year, now her Dad had just died. We were living with her father to take care of him and now that he passed we didn’t know what to do next. Neither one of us worked full time so we couldn’t afford a place to live. On top of that the stress was making us get at each others throats. After we had a heated argument I decided to yell some more but this time at God. After a tirade I told God if he truly loved me he could take all this anger away.

You know what happened?

In an instant the anger was gone. I have never had my anger go away  so fast.

Less than a month later my wife had a full time job and everything turned out fine. Just like the Lord said it will. We have to let God take control, of our anger, our worry, our lives.

God Bless.

Here is some links I hope help those that may also struggle with their anger.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/anger-management/art-20045434

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/anger-bible-verses/

Dealing with Hostility to God

“There is no evidence for God”

“I don’t believe in imaginary Men in the Sky”

If someone tries to argue with them on the issue they say, “That’s a straw man argument!”

You ever see these comments? Any article that has anything to do with God always has these type of comments. They claim that there is no science to back up the existence of God. The entire universe isn’t enough. Every creature, every plant, every natural thing on this Earth serves a purpose.

We know that everything on Earth comes from something or someone but we are supposed to believe that the Universe comes from nothing and is completely random.

The mathematical possibility of such a thing occurring is laughable. They claim there is no scientific books on God, that is a lie. There are hundreds of books dedicated to the matter. Also look at some of the most famous scientists in history, many were Christians.

Isaac Newton wrote more about God and Christianity then he did Science. Isaac Newton!

BILLIONS believe in God, the second majority are agnostic and the smallest group are outright atheists. They just are the most vocal on the internet, they spend so much of their time ridiculing religious people on the internet in comments sections or videos or in conversation.

They truly believe there is no God and they will have only a short time on Earth, yet they spend that precious time being angry and criticizing people who do believe in God. For a group that claims to be “Rational” and “Logical” that is the opposite of both.

Try not to get upset with these people, they are lost. It’s hard to do when you see someone disrespect God, who we love so much. But instead pray for them, show them love, its a personal relationship with God that will seal the deal. They have their minds made up, we can’t change them, only God can. Pray that their hard hearts will be softened and they will come to God.

God Bless you all.

 

God Always Wins

Often when we hear someone say negative things about God we get angry, which is something I believe we should try to not do. I know it is hard when you love God and hear awful things being said. But we are supposed to be the light of the World.
Matthew 15 says, “14You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”

We must show the World God’s love, be the light that brings them closer to God.

People love to bash God, usually for personal reasons. It could be because of their own guilt, or bad things have happened to them so they blame God or say he can’t exist because how could he let this happen? Many times experiences with Christians or Church lead them to atheism or outright hatred towards God. That is why it is we must tame the tongue with people who have anger towards God. Don’t give them another bad experience.

We must not push people more away from Christ, the devil wants people to be atheists. Let’s not do the devils work. There is always a chance for a person to accept salvation, remember even the demons believe Jesus is Lord.

Mark 5:

“1On the other side of the sea, they arrived in the region of the Gerasenes.a 2As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met Him. 3He had been living in the tombs and could no longer be restrained, even with chains. 4Though he was often bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and shattered the shackles. Now no one had the strength to subdue him. 5Night and day in the tombs and in the mountains, he kept crying out and cutting himself with stones.

6When the man saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees before Him. 7And he shouted in a loud voice, “What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God not to torture me.” 8For Jesus had already declared, “Come out of this man, you unclean spirit!”

9“What is your name?” Jesus asked.

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10And he begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of that region.

11There on the nearby hillside a large herd of pigs was feeding. 12So the demons begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs, so that we may enter them.”

13He gave them permission, and the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the water.”

Remember God can turn anything into a positive. When Jesus was crucified, God took the ultimate symbol of death and made it into the sign of salvation. The Roman Empire that executed Jesus later was converted. In every situation God always wins.

He can do the same thing in your life, anything negative can become a positive, you’re issue right now could become a testimony later. Trust in him always.
Psalm Chapter 9:18, “For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.”

Have a blessed week.

-Chris

The Journey Part I

I thought I was a believer, that I had strong faith. But what good is faith without works? “Faith without works is dead” That’s what James 2 teaches. I would claim to be a Christian, but I didn’t go to church, I was resentful of the church. How can these people be such hypocrites? How can they continue to do the opposite of what Jesus teaches? Do they really do anything for the poor and needy or do they just care about themselves?

It wasn’t till recently that I realized I needed to ask those questions to myself.

When I was 19, I was still claiming to be Christian but continued sinning without repentance, not following what God teaches us. My only communication with God was, when I fell into brokenness and begged for help, when that didn’t seem to work I would scream at him and yell, wondering where he really was? Having gone to High School in an awful environment, I dropped out. I was severely depressed, I had never had a job, had no car, no license, not even an ID. I felt like I didn’t even exist in the World.

After a while, I dusted myself off and ventured out, I got my GED, got a job, got a car, and had some new friends. I thought everything was going great, not noticing that it was God who was guiding me through all of this. However, I still felt the same emptiness and loneliness.

Then everything changed, I met a young 21 year old woman named Jane. My entire life was different after that. We fell in love right away, spent almost every day together and within three months I asked her to marry me. She said, yes! I was happy beyond belief. Of course we both lived at home, I only worked 12 hours a week for minimum wage at a Taco Stand and she was in college. We obviously couldn’t get married right away. But man was I convinced this was the girl of my dreams.

There was one problem though, she wasn’t a believer. She grew up with an Atheist father, and spent most of her life with the same beliefs before now being an agnostic. I talked to her about my faith, told her about my experiences and others experiences. I felt I needed to save her.

But I was the one who needed saving. I still had the same resentment, bitterness, anger for the World. I had no compassion, no love, no drive to be a better Christian.

After many discussions and a few arguments, I gave up on trying to convert her. I went through an occasional interest in YouTube sermons and a few bible reading days here and there but I was still the same guy. After a while I would settle back in to the same habits.

Jane and I went through some rough patches and had some dark moments. My anger and depression were getting out of hand. At one point the engagement was called off, she left and went to her sister’s house.

I was alone in our home when I began to scream at God, I yelled, I cursed at him. I blamed everything on him, why did he make me this way? Why do I have depression and anxiety? Why can’t he just take it all away? I convinced myself I needed no one but me. Then I did something the bible teaches us not to do, I put God to the test. I told him that he needed to prove himself to me right now.

There was silence, the quietest silence I had ever heard, I could feel it. I truly felt alone, I collapsed and wept. I was more broken than ever. I begged for forgiveness, I told him to lead me, guide me. I immediately felt calm and relaxed, accepting everything that happened.

The next day, Jane came over to grab some things and I asked her to listen to me, I told her everything I needed to change and what I have done wrong. She was very resistant, but I kept praying to God, asking him to guide me in my words. Finally she cried and said it was exactly what she needed to hear. After a long talk we decided to get back together. We still have our rough patches but things have never been as dark as before that.

I started reading the bible more, watching sermons from all over the World but was still convinced I didn’t need church. Meanwhile Jane’s mother had become a Christian, she was an alcoholic and was close to dying. She had hit rock bottom and turned her life around, she kept writing Jane letters telling her about God and bringing God up to her every time they talked. I was unaware of the changes going inside Jane’s mind.

Then one day Jane said, “I want to go to church” I was shocked and excited. But also at the same time I was scared, I didn’t want to go to church, I still believed I could be a Christian on my own.

We searched for a while and finally found a church. We started going but didn’t go as often as we should have and didn’t full commit like we wanted but we still considered the church our home. Then one day a notice was posted on their website, the pastor had decided to quit ministry and the church was up for sale. Jane and I were so upset that we decided not to go through the whole process again.

For almost a year we watched sermons online and had discussions on Christianity. She had started going to a university which required religious studies courses and before long she was teaching me things. Every time I asked her about her beliefs she kept telling me she wasn’t ready to call herself a Christian, she still wasn’t sure. At one point during a time when she was feeling guilty about her mistakes and depressed about what other people had done to her. I told her “Go over and sit down and pray, confess all your sins and offer your heart to Jesus.”

She did this but when she came back she described the experience as “Weird” and that she still wasn’t sure if she was a believer. This went on for months finally I asked her why? She looked down and said “Because I don’t feel I am worthy”

I told her, “None of us are.” She smiled and looked down, I gave her a hug, looked at her, then asked her the question again, she looked up at me and said “I am a Christian” Her smile lit up the room, I hugged her, and felt a new love radiate through my body as I held her. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. When she offered her heart to Jesus, he took it, like he always will to anyone who asks. But we still needed to find a church.