My husband recently preached an excellent sermon entitled “How To Be Perfect”. Sound intimidating? I thought so when he announced the title. “Oh boy. Get ready for a mile-long list of dos and don’ts!” However, as he got into the message, I quickly saw that my presuppositions had been incorrect.
Here’s the passage that he preached from:
Matthew 5: 43-48
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
I’ve been re-reading this passage in my devotions. I’ve been mulling it over, trying to determine, what is love? Must I go spend the afternoon with my enemies, hanging out? Is that love? Should I call them daily and chat? Is that love? Or, is love simply not hating them? You know, not wishing evil on them, praying for them, etc.? To be clear, I don’t think I have any enemies, in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t think there is anyone out there slandering me or plotting my demise.(At least, I hope not!) But, I know there are some folks who are not exactly my number one fans. Or even my 2,679,342nd fan. These folks don’t want me to drop by for a coke and they don’t want to chat with me if they see me at the store. So, I’m calling them “enemies” but I feel that word is a bit harsh. The point is, I want to love everyone, even those who don’t exactly like me…at all.
It’s been a while since I had read portions of the book If by Amy Carmichael. I believe it’s no coincidence that I picked it up again just today, when I’m striving to learn how to love. I wanted to share a few passages that convicted me.
If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice; if I give any room to my private likes and dislikes, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I put my own happiness before the well-being of the work entrusted to me; if, though I have this ministry and have received much mercy, I faint, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into the vice of self-pity and self-sympathy; if I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I do not give a friend “the benefit of the doubt,” but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I take offense easily; if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love.*
*For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.
If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my Sinless Saviour trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
I could go on and on. I received a bonus from this book. Not only am I learning how to love my enemies, but also how to better love those who love me in return. I long to share this book with all of my readers! It will be a great addition to your devotional time. However, I do not have the funds available to purchase a copy for everyone. I have decided to give away two copies, of either the book or the audiobook,(winners’ choice) to two readers. I will hold an old-fashioned drawing for the winners on Friday, July 1, 2011, at 6 PM. Winner will be announced immediately after the drawing.
How to Enter:
Do one or more of the following, each item counts as an entry, just let me know in your comment how many you have done. Those already following my blog can also count that for an extra entry! Just let me know you’ve been following!
1. Comment on this post.(If comments are not working, please let me know on my chat box or by e-mail. Thank you!)
2. Post about this giveaway on Twitter.
3. Follow my blog
4. Follow by e-mail
5. Post about this giveaway on Facebook or your blog.
I look forward to blessing two readers with this marvelous and convicting little book!