Bringin’ The Love – Not Feelin’ The Pain
By Kathleen Cooke
Ascend Advisory Board
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
Are you brave enough to bring the love that could cost you your life?
We’re subject to government rule under presidents, kings, and rulers that are never ideal. God’s kingdom and perfect rule is yet to come. As we live out Godly lives following the truths given to us in scripture, it often conflicts with culture and in so doing brings attention to what the unbelieving world thinks as odd and often even offensive and wrong. Why is it wrong to sleep with someone before marriage, have an abortion, end the life of a dying person, view pornography, or have sexual relationships with the same sex? The culture views Christians as culturally backwards. But that’s nothing new. They viewed the early Christian church the same way. Christians would sneak up to the Roman walls at night to rescue abandoned newborn babies left to die. Why would those strange Christians love children that weren’t theirs? It baffled the Romans and got their attention as it vividly showed the love and mercy of Jesus.
Acts. 7 tells us about the first martyred Christian – Stephen. How did he defend himself in front of the Sanhedrin? He did so by loving his accusers and standing courageously in scriptural truth. He reminded them of God’s love story and their Jewish history. But the truth infuriated them. Stephen loved them with courageous love. He chose to tell their story and asked questions just as Jesus had done.
What’s often missed in the account of Stephen is in Acts 7:58. Those witnessing and stoning Stephen put their coats (they left their stuff) at Saul’s feet. Saul, (who would become Paul and be transformed by God to become one of the greatest leaders of the Church) what was he thinking about while standing back and seeing the glory of God on Stephen’s face? Would he think of Stephen’s words and face again during his blindness as told in Acts chapter 9?
As our present world erupts in endless violence, terrorism, and with rulers and laws that anger us, God’s calling us to courageously praise Him in the midst of suffering and injustice. And… to actually run to the suffering. Will you?
Arm yourself with God’s Word and then pray for our rulers that you find disdainful? Baffle the world with Godly courageous love.