Sharing from God’s Word

I am a firm believer that God speaks to us through His Holy Scriptures, the Bible, both the Old Testament and the New. 

I am new at blogging and find there are days I can’t think of anything fresh and new to say.  But if I take time to read from the Bible every day and reflect on what I read, I will never want for something to say.  For this reason, I have added “His Whisperings” to my blogs.  I hope this blog will be the one I use the most.

I am not new at writing and reflecting on scriptures.  This is not to say I’m an expert on the subject.  What I am saying is that I know how easy it is to neglect to stop and write about my reactions to the verses I read.  It is easier to read and leave it there.  And it is only fair to confess that many days I fail to even read.  So please be patient with me if I don’t stop and post every day.

The material we use in our Sunday School class has a recommended daily Bible reading for every day of the week.  I plan to begin by using these scriptures for my blogs, though I may take off in some other direction (in the Bible) at any time.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Luke 6:27-28 Love your enemies

     27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

 It is one thing to love a friend, a brother, sister, parent, son or daughter who has hurt you.  That is because you value their friendship.  But what about your enemies–those people who rub you wrong today, yesterday and always… those people who oppose you at every turn?  Does God expect us to love them too?  These verses tell us that we are to love even our enemies.  

But God hasn’t asked us to do anything he hasn’t already done for us.  We crucified Jesus on a cross, yet Jesus responded saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”  Jesus rebuked when it was necessary, but he never stopped loving his enemies. 

An insincere love is not love.  I have heard people say in bitterness and through gritted teeth, “I love him in the Lord.”  I don’t think God was impressed, however.  Until we are free of ill will, until we can think of them with a smile on our faces and in our hearts, we still haven’t forgiven them and we still aren’t loving them in our hearts. 

Verse 28 gives us the formula for overcoming those bitter feelings.  Jesus tells us to bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Lord give us the courage, strength, and desire to truly forgive our enemies.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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Leviticus 19:17-18 Love your neighbor

      17 “‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. 

     18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.  (Leviticus 19:17-18  NIV)

God doesn’t allow much room for hate in our hearts, especially when that hatred is directed against people.  God hates evil and so should we.  But when it comes to the people who upset us, hate should not be among our responses.  God does allow us the option of rebuking another person, but even that should be done with the other person’s best interest at heart.  When we rebuke another we should do it in a spirit of helping that person, not in a spirit of seeking revenge. 

Neither does God allow us the option of holding a grudge against another person.  We must forgive from the heart and mean it. 

This seldom comes easy.  Sometimes it is hardest to forgive those closest to us.  When we feel another has wronged us we must pray for God to give us the right approach to take.  Whether it is to confront that person in love, or to simply turn it over to God by asking him to take the ill will out of our heart, and to cleanse our hearts from the grudges we feel.

Lord, help me to apply these teachings to my own heart and life that I may be truly free to serve you.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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