Thoughts formed during the message given at Emmaus Life on October 15, 2017
How this day, week, year may I begin turning to fight for rather than against those with whom I disagree?
Our purpose is not to punish and or condemn what we see as wrong in others, battling against them to somehow prove Christ, but to fight for them that they may experience Christ. If I begin fighting for rather than against is that not the execution of unconditional love?
For we do not represent a pagan god who waits to punish and condemn us, but The God that IS Unconditional Love. Now we must know, when we begin to fight for, we may expect adversity from the world. For how disappointing to the devil's efforts that we've ceased making enemies and skewing the name of Christ!
We had previously been "suffering" for the sake of our material flesh and self glory -- to be recognized in ourselves, by the world, as holy. So we must continue on in the face of this new type of suffering that turns the world against us as we become for loving others unconditionally.
No longer seeking our own reputation, we now "boast in the hope of the glory of God." To what end do we endure? "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."*
How this day, week, year may I begin turning to fight for rather than against those with whom I disagree? Even as the world spurs me on to seek self-preservation?
"What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You cover and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to a be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace.
Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"**
*Romans 5:2-5, NIV
**James 4:1-12, ESV