Loving Your Enemy . . .

Praise and Worship are the weapons of warfare!

Matthew 5:44 NLT ~ “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”

Proverbs 25:21-22 AMP ~ “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

I always thought that this verse was heaping judgement upon those who wronged me.

But this is not to be understood as a revengeful act, but quite the opposite. The High Priest, on the day of Atonement, took his censer and filled it with coals of fire from off the Altar of burnt offerings, and then put incense on the coals, to create a pleasing sweet-smelling fragrance. The cloud or smoke of the incense covered the Mercy Seat and was acceptable to God for atonement. (Leviticus 16:12)

Samuel Wesley wrote ~ “So artists melt the sullen ore of lead, By heaping coals of fire upon its head, In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And pure from dross the silver runs below.”

Dross is dirt, refuse, waste.

The writer of Proverbs 25:21-22 above, understood the process of creating something beautiful from refuse or waste.

Matthew Henry wrote ~ “We shall mollify (soften) them (our enemy) as the refiner melts the metal in the crucible, not only by putting it over the fire, but by heaping coals of fire upon it. The way to turn an enemy into a friend, is to act towards him in a friendly manner.”

This sheds a whole new light for me on this scripture. The coals heaped over the dross being refined (or in this case our enemy) by loving them, softens the piece being shaped and in relation to a person softens the heart to prepare them for shaping and moulding to what the creator wants to make. Out of waste comes hope and a precious new creation!

How cool is that!

prov 21 21 (1)

What Comes Out of My Mouth . . .

You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse His name  ~ Exodus 20:7 (NLT)

Of all the things I have struggled to change in my life, this has been the most difficult! Giving up smoking and losing weight were a breeze compared to changing my bad mouthed habits. It becomes so  habitual to exclaim words one shouldn’t be saying  whenever frustrated or angry, although I have never blasphemed. Over the years I have hurt people, my family especially by shouting some expletive at them. Even when I love the Lord and so want to change my ways, sometimes it is like fighting a losing battle.

Praise 1

There are many bible verses I have known for years that talk about what comes out of my mouth, but  trying, just in my own strength, to change what  I  say  has  been  almost  futile. 

In  the  gospel  of  Matthew   12:34-35, Jesus says that “…the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good…”

This week I want to focus on the third Commandment, which is, You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Matthew Henry says that we take the Lord’s Name in vain by ~

  1. Declaring Him as our Lord, but we do not depart from iniquity.
  2. Making promises to God, and then breaking them.
  3. Swearing and using God’s name as a by-word, to no good purpose at all.

The third Commandment basically, concerns insulting God with what comes out of my heart, because if I have confessed Him as my Lord and Saviour, then He lives in my heart and I should be making every effort to dispense with my fleshly desires and be  working toward having The Mind of Christ.

I change what is in my heart by ~

  1. Training my body to walk in the Spirit, by :
  2. Reading the Word regularly and allowing it to change me, therefore :
  3. Taking back the territory of my own mind and actively renewing it, so that God can train me to win.
  4. Worshipping God daily.

If there’s one thing I have learnt over the years, it’s that I cannot make these changes by myself, just trying, trying every day. I need to lean on the Lord, give it all to Him, and let Him change me. Knowing WHO I AM in Christ by observing the above four daily habits. 

Some Scriptures pertaining to this article ~ Psalm 19:14/Proverbs 23:15-16/Matthew 12:34-37/Romans 12:12/Ephesians 4:29/Ephesians 5:4/James 3:7-10