It hadn’t rained in North Texas in over a month. Pete Delkus, the Dallas ABC weather anchor, began to show us those maps with moderately dry areas showing up in yellow, reminding us of the months when large sections of Texas showed up in red indicating excessively dry. Then yesterday a front came through.
As I drove up 67 to teach at Southern Bible, I had to find my forgotten wipers and turn them to fast. It was pouring, tough to focus through the rain. Then I noticed something weird. As I drove past churches, the rain drenched them in February showers. The same was true of doctor’s offices, hospitals, childcares and elementary schools, but the yards of palm readers, liquor stores, and adult bookstores remained dry. The rain was falling justly on the “righteous,” but God left the “unrighteous” bone dry.
Obviously, this was not the case. What does God’s gift of rain have to say about how I should treat those who hate and hurt me?
“And if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love their own. Or if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Sinners do the same. If you lend to someone, expecting a return, what credit is that to you? Sinners lend to sinners, expecting to receive it all back. But love your enemies, do good and lend to them expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Highest because He is gracious to the ungracious and the wicked. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.”
This sounds like foolishness if all we have is this present life and it’s “kill or be killed” reality. But Jesus isn’t teaching us to love for only life under the sun. He challenges us to believe in God’s ability to pay dividends. Loving our enemies is the character trait that marks us as one of His kids
LORD, I understand and can believe in a Louie L’Amour kind of frontier justice and the power of a Colt 45. “You shoot at me. I’ll blow your head off.” But as the anger builds across our land, help me listen to what Your Son commands about loving my enemies. Open my heart to the greater firepower of Your love, the love that Jesus poured out on Calvary. Help me see the gift of Your rain and have the boldness and courage to pour out good on my enemies.
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