Morning Musing: Ephesians 6:12

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Who is your enemy? Now maybe you’re saintly enough that your response to that question is some version of, “I don’t have any enemies.” Granting that, who comes closest to that status for you? If you’re at all like a growing segment of our society, the answer just may be the people on the other side of the political aisle. In our hyper-partisan times, political rivals are among the most bitter enemies we have. The latest entry from Marvel Studios offers an important counterpoint to this decidedly unhealthy trend. Let’s talk today about Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

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Morning Musing: Luke 6:35

“But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

I was up early this morning composing today’s entry in my head before my fingers could hit the screen. I had a good intro and several profound points to make. It was going to be really good too. We were going to talk about one of my favorite things Jesus said on loving one another. I’d been planning on this day all week long. Then I got up and opened the Scriptures to read a bit before I wrote and the Spirit messed all of that up. Here’s what He wanted me to talk about instead.

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 24:17-18

“Don’t gloat when your enemy falls, and don’t let your heart rejoice when he stumbles, or the Lord will see, be displeased, and turn his wrath away from him.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

It is satisfying to see someone who deserves justice get it. When someone has been wronged, we love to see them get what is right. Conversely, when someone has done something wrong, we love to see them get their due punishment. This is part of what made movies like Home Alone such a hit. A couple of bad guys got what was coming to them in deliciously hilarious fashion. But, while justice delivered is satisfying (and should be so), there’s a line here that we are wise to not cross. 

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Digging in Deeper: 2 Samuel 22:4

“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

We know what it looks like to be saved from our enemies, right? David sure did. It meant they were completely defeated and destroyed. It meant achieving military victory. It meant putting down any and every rebellion. It meant no one was standing in his way. He had experienced these kinds of victories all his life. But, as followers of Jesus, is this still the kind of victory we should expect to experience? 

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Digging in Deeper: Titus 2:7-8

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There are calls to Christ-like behavior all over the New Testament.  We see them in all kinds of different contexts.  And most of them seem to offer little more reason for this aim than that it is right and honoring of God.  Sometimes they focus on the benefit such behavior will bring to us.  But there are times I’ve been left wondering: What else is there?  Is there a reason to put so much effort and energy into this beyond the fact that it is right? Read the rest…