Whatsoever Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Who hates you, and What are you doing about it? 
I have many friends. Not bragging, but rather appreciating how many wonderful people God has surrounded me with. What many of them have in common though, and it truly breaks my heart, is that many are carrying grudges. 
Sometimes I have to edit my time with one friend, because it might be an offence to another friend. Many of these "hate-fests" are generational. Some say: "Oh that person just doesn't like me, I don't know why". Some live their lives in the avoidance mode, where they don't join things they would like to because "so n so" is in that club. Some won't attend a Church God is drawing them to, because "ole so n so" attends there. I have seen some boycott funerals in case "ole so n so" is there. 
Most of us operate in the innocent mode, or at least "I'm not as guilty in this as he/she is". We know God would have us reconcile to the degree it is possible, and Forgive unconditionally, but the truth is, -- we don't.  Most of us have been hurt - really hurt. Sometimes folks have lied about us, or falsely accused us. Some have derided us to our bosses in order to secure a promotion we had coming. Some have turned us in, or told our spouses on us, or yada yada yada.  I'm not belittling these feelings, as they are often justifiable by every "worldly" standard. 
Let's rather turn the Spiritual Switch. Paul had every reason in the world to hate his countrymen. They had "stirred up the people" against him.  "From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one." (forty was illegal) 2nd Cor. 11:24   He was - "in perils of my own countrymen" 11:26    "And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy." Acts 23:12-13   Paul had been stoned (I believe to death) (Acts 14), and how do you suppose he responded to those responsible?  What was Paul's heart toward those who wanted to harm him?  "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost. That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites;"  Rom. 9:1-4a    
Do you hear what he is saying?  "I have such a burden for the lost people around me, my neighbors and family with all their flaws and malice toward me, that I would gladly spend eternity in hell if it meant they might be saved.  Mosses had a similar heart when his people made and worshiped the golden calf and God's judgment was imminent. "If you won't forgive them, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written."  Ex. 32:31   
Question:  Were these men able to react this way because they were super men of God -- or where they super men of God because they were able to react this way?   Just absorb this for a minute. In Phil. 1:23, Paul is willing to stay rather than be in the presence of his Lord for the benefit of his community, and here he is willing to go to hell that his loved ones (many of whom hated him) might be saved.  Do you have that burden for  the people around you - or are you just tolerating them till you don't have to anymore.  Everything Jesus did was for the purpose of Reconciliation; "Let this mind be also in you". God Bless

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


Classified Ads

503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
or cotchron@qwestoffice.net
Fax 208-962-7131
Template Design by: