A Solemn, Gracious, Powerful Reminder

    Just recently I was reminded of a preacher who has publicly from the pulpit called me a false preacher and slandered my name. This caused a rage of emotions to well up within me, even anger and thoughts of revenge and retaliation. But in such times the Holy Spirit always reminds me of the words of our Lord when He said,

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." - Matt. 5:44

    These are strong words of conviction to me, and when they ring forth in my very soul, I know that my only hope of salvation is the free and sovereign grace of God in and by the lord Jesus Christ. I have no righteousness but HIM, and this is why I believe, rest in, and preach so strongly the imputed righteousness of Christ and not any righteousness in myself. Does this deny the blessed and powerful work of the Holy Spirit within me? NO, because when I am confronted with such matters, I am also brought to shame and sorrow over the fact that I am such a sinful person. And I thank God that He did not have the same attitude towards me when I was his enemy and when I slandered Him with my false doctrine, self righteous attitude, ignorance, and unbelief. I am reminded that God commended His love toward me and that Christ Jesus died for me while I was yet and still am a sinner (Rom. 5:8,10). It is through this glorious reality that the Holy Spirit inspires and motivates me to love and pray for my enemies. It has nothing to do with my feelings and natural inclinations, for, like Paul, no good thing dwells in my flesh. It has to do with the sovereign , free, and unmerited love, mercy, and grace of God shown towards me in that God gave His only begotten Son to save a wretch like me.

    By the power of the Holy Spirit and because of spiritual life within me, I can will to love even my enemies whether I feel like it or not. I can will to pray for them and even desire blessings for them no matter how I feel. I can pray for the salvation of my enemies. This will within me is not the product of any free or good will of my own but of the sovereign power and grace of God in Christ Who loved me and gave Himself for me, even when I was and am all together unlovely. The fact is this.... I am never, not even at my best, worthy of His love for me. Why should I even consider how others are not worthy of my love? Worthiness in ourselves should never be an issue. If it were, there would no no love for us, to us, or from us. The glory of God in Christ is the issue.

Topics: Church Bulletin Articles
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