DEVOTIONS

We all gotta eat, but man does not live on bread alone

Posts tagged enemy

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Morning Devotion: Love Your Enemy

Love one another. Do not sit idly by as they struggle on their own. Do not be their source of pain or hurt with comments or tone that act like their situation is different form yours. LOVE them. Their feelings are the most important commodity to you; their comfort more valuable than gold!

For God loves them. And asks for us to too. And we do. We do. We do, knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, is coming back to take sin and death away. He really is. Thanks be to God. Amen.

Filed under love faith Christianity enemy Jesus God lcms Lutheran

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Morning Devotion: Love Your Enemy

Love one another. Do not sit idly by as they struggle on their own. Do not be their source of pain or hurt with comments or tone that act like their situation is different form yours. LOVE them. Their feelings are the most important commodity to you; their comfort more valuable than gold!

For God loves them. And asks for us to too. And we do. We do. We do, knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, is coming back to take sin and death away. He really is. Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under love faith Christianity enemy Jesus God lcms Lutheran

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Morning Devotion: Who Is Your Enemy?

There are probably some things that you have heard before that Jesus has said. Things like “Love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek.” And that’s good! Those are good things to hear!

But today I want to turn those expression into something real. I think that often enough it is easy for us to hear things like “love your enemies”, and think that it is merely an idea; a concept. Like I should, conceptually, “Love my enemy”, whatever that means.

So today I want to take that very biblical teaching, and make it concrete. In order to MAKE it concrete, we have to give our action a face. So I want to ask you another question, and I want you to think of the answer for a moment.

Who is YOUR enemy? Who is your enemy? I want you to picture them.

But some ground rules first.

First, I want you to think of a person. I say this only because many times we tend to think of situations of things as our enemies. You know, things like traffic or rude customer service people or long commercials or stuck lids on pickle jars. I believe I have said before that I have a special animosity towards children’s toys. I’m always awaking sleeping children by tripping over them. But that’s not what I mean. It has to be a person.

Further, I would like it to be someone you know personally; someone you interact with. So it can’t be Anderson Cooper or the cast of the Jersey Shore or the guy from the Kia Motors Commercials or anything like that. You can’t pick Colonel Gaddafi. Sorry.

So someone you know personally. Now maybe you are saying to yourself, “Well, I have no enemies! No one is actively seeking to hurt me! I have no out and out declared nemesis whatsoever!” And I’m sure for many, if not most, of you that is true! And I praise the Lord for that! But do you still have enemies in your life? Oh, most certainly. And is that important for us to see? Well, certainly yes on THAT too. Why?

Because it would be all too easy to see how Jesus and St Paul tell us to treat our enemies and simply say, “Well, I don’t HAVE any enemies, so I don’t have to do what they’re saying!” The words of Scripture do not apply to us, we may think, if we check the box where our enemies do not exist.

But they do. It’s a sinful broken world; and we’re sinful broken people; and others behave sinfully and broken to us. So how will we identify “enemy” today?

If you HAVE someone who you are openly hostile towards, then picture that person. PLEASE picture that person. Because for YOU more than perhaps for anyone else, this is an important teaching.

For the rest, picture someone who is your enemy perhaps unbeknownst to them. What do I mean? I mean picture someone who really drives you crazy. Or picture someone who WRONGS you; takes advantage of you. Or perhaps says passive aggressive or insensitive things to you. Think of the person you always seem to be at odds with. The person who you feel would always take the opposite position, just to disagree with you. Picture the person who you feel is always taking and never giving. Picture the person who you just don’t like to walk into the same room that they are in. Take the person that you don’t feel DESERVES to be treated with love and kindness. Think of the person that you have UN-Christian thoughts about, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Picture that person in your mind.

And now, repent. Repent for how you feel towards them. Repent, and be forgiven. Repent, and take this moment to remember that, no matter who they are, no matter what they have done, no matter how wicked or foolish or irritating this person may be; they are a beloved child of God. Even if they are not a believer, God loves them very very much. And ask the Lord to change your heart towards them; and to let YOU love them, the way HE loves them.

It’s hard, isn’t it? It’s hard because we often feel like the people we consider enemies don’t DESERVE our forgiveness, or our love. They don’t even WANT it, after all! So certainly they don’t deserve it!

But can’t we see? THIS is the love that first has been given to us. A love that loves unconditionally. A love that loves when love is not deserved. A love that Jesus Christ first gave to us, and made manifest by dying for us on the cross. The Lord showed his love for you in this: while you were his ENEMY, he loved you enough to die for you.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

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Morning Devotion: Forgive

If there is someone in your life, from whom you are withholding forgiveness, that is not okay. If there is someone in your life, and you are saying “Well, God will forgive, but I CANNOT,” then that is not okay, and be warned: it is not the sin of the other, but your OWN lack of forgiveness with which you must be concerned! If you find too much fault with another to forgive them, know today that God looks at you with wide wonder as the most curious of his people: willing to take his forgiveness for yourself, yet never willing to share it with others.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity forgive forgiveness faith Jesus God lcms Lutheran enemy sin fault

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Morning Devotion: Love Your Enemy!

Love one another. Do not sit idly by as they struggle on their own. Do not be their source of pain or hurt with comments or tone that act like their situation is different form yours. LOVE them. Their feelings are the most important commodity to you; their comfort more valuable than gold!

For God loves them. And asks for us to too. And we do. We do. We do, knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, is coming back to take sin and death away. He really is. Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity love enemy Jesus God faith lcms Lutheran Jesus Christ death

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Evening Devotion: LOVE THEM!

You CAN do it. Pray to the Lord to let you FEEL the love that you know you should towards your enemy. But do not let it end there: with you saying to yourself, “I will feel different about this person.” Instead, WHATEVER anyone may have done to you; LOVE THEM. Take that person that is your enemy, and find a way this week to LOVE them; to show love to them; to express love to them; to SERVE them, even if they mistreat you, with a WILD and RADICAL and AWESOME love…

… that we first have been loved with.

We are free. We are clean. We are whiter than snow, washed in the blood of the lamb! What is there left to do, as we wait for the kingdom to come?

What is left, is to love. Love one another, people of God. And love unconditionally. For in this same way has Jesus Christ loved you.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity God Jesus Lutheran enemy lcms love nice sins prayer pray

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Evening Devotion: Love Your Enemy!

And then love one another. Do not sit idly by as they struggle on their own. Do not be their source of pain or hurt with comments or tone that act like their situation is different form yours. LOVE them. Their feelings are the most important commodity to you; their comfort more valuable than gold!

For God loves them. And asks for us to too. And we do. We do. We do, knowing our Lord Jesus Christ, is coming back to take sin and death away. He really is. Thanks be to God. Amen.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

Filed under Christianity Jesus God love faith lcms Lutheran love your enemy enemy

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Evening Devotion: He Turns The Other Cheek

After all, look at what Jesus himself does: He stands before the Sanhedrin, and a member of the temple guard strikes his face. What does Jesus do; JESUS, the Son of God who could, if he desired, call legions of angels and heavenly hosts from the sky? He turns the other cheek.

He gives up both his cloak and his tunic, allowing evil soldier who torture him to cast die over them. He is forced to walk more than a mile with the cross on his back. He shows love for his enemies in praying for their forgiveness, even AS THEY ARE KILLING HIM.

In doing all these things, he SHOWED the nature of love and mercy. He SHOWED it, on the cross.

-Aj Neugebauer LCMS pastor

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