He Makes Even His Enemies Live at Peace With Him…..

Proverbs 16:6-7 reads like this:

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.
When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

I wrote in my last post about the first two verses in this passage.  I love these verses, because I think they sum up (for me anyway) how we are to follow Christ, and why.  He is ever-faithful, and loves us beyond measure.  Because of that, we who accept him are clean before him.  Our fear of him (love in return) is what will keep us from continuing in our old sinful ways, and also draw others who don’t yet know him, into a loving relationship with him.  In my last post, I neglected to talk to that.  I think I should do so now.  Bear with me…….

I’d like to start by pointing you to this blog post, written shortly after May 21st……  Let me know when you are done……

Done?  Great.  Now – Why do I post this article, you ask?  Not to agree with, or disagree with the author’s claims on Harold Camping.  Well – sort of.  I post because the accusation made here about Camping being an atheist resonates with me – I myself live as an atheist, all too often….

Please don’t get me wrong – I know my Lord and Savior.  I will declare Jesus is Lord as long as there is breath in my lungs (or in this case, I have fingers and keyboard and internet).  Do I ever doubt?  Sure.  Just as I might have doubts about my marriage, or my parenting skills, or my ability to perform at work.  But I bring it before the Lord, and he is ever faithful and always provides for me in my time of need (in this case – doubt).

Where then do I live like an atheist?  Well – let’s think on this.  If I know my Lord and Savior, and I trust that he is always with me – why do I gravitate towards the things of this world?  If I know my Lord and Savior, and I trust that he is always with me – why do I treat my wife – a child of God, the apple of his eye – as an object sometimes, there to do my bidding?  Why would I ever balk at serving her, or putting her cares above mine?  If I know my Lord and Savior, and I trust that he is always with me – why is it so easy for me to be a lazy parent?  If I know my Lord and Savior, and I trust that he is always with me – why do I snap at co-workers, or ever elevate myself above them?  If I know my Lord and Savior, and I trust that he is always with me – why do I not have discernment, which might prohibit me from entering into “debates” with friends online?  Imagine that – online even!  Not even face to face?

If you are one of those friends – probably not, but who knows? – I’m really sorry for ever engaging in such a way.  It’s childish, and not really gaining anybody anything.  And it’s not what we as Christians are called to do.  It’s not an argument we are supposed to win.  It’s a gift of great news we are to share!  Nothing more!

Bellicose.  It’s a word I learned recently, from one of these friends of mine.  Now he was not calling me this name, but another who felt the need to “champion for Jesus”, as if he needs it.  But it, like my “moment’s of glory”, was uncalled for.  And my friend used this word to describe him.  Not knowing what it meant, I looked it up.

The first description on dictionary.com, the one applicable, I think is this:

“inclined or eager to fight”

Quite fitting, no?  And quite the opposite of what Jesus calls us to do…..

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)

“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.” (Matthew 10:14)

This is not to call my friends dogs or pigs – not at all!  No, it’s more of a clear direction from Jesus not to force ourselves on others.  This does not mean that we aren’t to speak into our loved ones lives.  I think that is something that is very important, and unfortunately in this day and age something almost nobody is willing to do…..  And many have suffered and do suffer for it……

But in our online “community”?  How close can I get to you, to know you, to really have your respect and trust, that you would take any words I might have to heart?  And if I’m just spouting off – how much discernment am I having?  How much of that is really coming from the Lord, vs from me?  I’d argue more of me than Jesus, if I’m spouting off.

Which leads into the last two verses here:

When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD,
he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

I think I covered these verses in my confession of idiocracy above.  Or rather – I covered the OPPOSITE of what these verses describe.  But – how is it possible to live a life completely pleasing to the Lord????

Jesus.  Only Jesus.  Only because of Jesus am I pure, clean, white as snow.  Only becasue of Jesus are my sins cast as far as the east is from the west.  Only because of Jesus could I ever be pleasing to the Lord God Almighty, let alone stand before him…..

I know those statements sound like I’m bashing myself.  That’s not the case here.  Nor does God hate us – any of us – and want to cast us from his presence.  But if you go back and re-read some of my crap I layed out – or better, if I were to tell you more – you’d might agree if you just look at that crap and forget some of the “good” things you might know about me.  And – I think if you were to be really honest with yourself, you might see the same in you…..

God loves us so much that he wants more for us, than the crap that we created.  He washes us clean, by the blood of his son Jesus Christ, and provides eternal Salvation.  Eternal – meaning always.  Now, and forever.  Salvation – meaning not just from our sins, but also from our sinful nature.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:4-6)

Only Jesus can do that for us.  And he already HAS!!!  While we were HIS enemies, God sent the only one who was pure and pleasing to him – Jesus Christ – as payment for our sins.  So that we could live at peace with him…..

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