Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Am NOT Listening

I was able to go to the Saturday evening service at church last night!! This is only the 5th time I've attended church since I got sick. Sure do miss being there. I love it!

Sat down and started to look at the bulletin. My last blog post was titled "From the Inside Out". Guess what the sermon series at church is titled? YEP. "From the Inside Out"...freak me out!!! So, I thought, "how cool that God has been preparing me already."

And then.....

Our pastor asks us to turn to Luke 6:27. Flipped my Bible to that passage and immediately decided that I better stick my fingers in my ears and loudly say "LALALALALALALA". (of course, I didn't really do this) How could I have thought that God had been preparing me and then get this passage thrown at me. Shoot!!

Here are the verses - But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you."If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

As our pastor pointed out, many of us don't like to think in terms of having enemies, but we have that person that we would say is an "antagonist". Obviously I knew immediately who my "enemy" is. And I really did not want to hear what God was asking of me.

The passage is full of action words. It's not enough to say we love our enemies, we have to take action. Do good. Bless. Pray. Give. Be merciful. Last night was the first time I have been able to take communion in almost 2 years. I knew that I couldn't participate in the Lord's Supper without first surrendering my agenda to God. Do I want to do good, bless, pray for and give to my "enemy"?? NO, but God wants me to.

Who is it for you? Ask God to show you ways to put your love for HIM into action. And feel free to ask me how I am doing in blessing and showing mercy.


31 comments:

UL Cards Fan said...

Impossible to do (or even WANT to do) on our own power. We have to rely on God's power to follow His commands.

Praying for you Sheryl. And thanking God that you and I were taking communion on the same night.

Love you,
Linda

Barbara said...

thank you so much for visiting my blog. As i have reviewed yours, I am in awe at the courage and faithfulness that I see in a sister in Christ. You face what some would see as insurmountable circumstances and in the midst you give praise to a loving God and Father, not every one could do that. You are an inspiration to women everywhere and I am humbled in your presence. Thank you for sharing your daily testimony that God will not leave us even when circumstances may not be what we would choose. Your are truly a blessing

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Hi Sheryl,
As always so inspiring, God has had to bring this scripture back to my mind and heart so many times. What an Awesome God we serve, He took the time to prepare your heart before you attended this service. I am continuing to be amazed at His love for us, His children! "Yes Jesus loves me , this I know for the Bible tells me so."
I would love to hear how God is working in your life to show you how to love your enemy. You are such a blessing to me!!
Hugs,
Sue

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I can not believe you posted this today.

I struggled so much with this, and just poured my heart out into a post for later this week. I am being asked to do this very thing with a very painful relationship with my parents and I can almost not bear it. Well, the truth is, I can't, but I know God through me, CAN. I'm banking on that.

I struggled this very day with hurt, and my devo. was exactly the same... pointed right at me and my issue.

God daily amazes me at His ability to hit me with His best shot right at my heart.

Thanks for this post.

He And Me + 3 said...

God is so good & He has perfect timing. Communion is such a special time...so glad you got to partake.

Diana said...

God will equip you through His grace to answer His comand. He will bless your tender heart. I know for these seasons in my life the effective prayer hase been "Lord, with my will I forgive, but my heart, mind and emotions, I pray You would bring them in line." Miraculously He eventually does, and you find yourself walking in freedom and strength. He is a good God and He will meet you yet again in the battle you face. Blessings!

Cheri' said...

Sheryl,
I can definitely see the connection God is making between the passage your posted about in Mark 2, and the passage your pastor preached on. Wow!

It has been my experience, that it is through His grace I can bless and pray for my enemies, and in so doing, my heart gets healed. Sometimes it's even what Mark 2 refers to -- having Him forgive my sins of hatred, anger, bitterness, resentment, etc. Once I let go of my sins, my heart is free to love and I really am healed from the inside out!

I love your heart and your desire to please Him. It's obvious He's working in your life!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Praising the Lord that you could worship in church. How wonderful! How humble that you would not partake until you confessed your agenda.

I think it's easy to say we love our enemies when we say we have no enemies. But what about those who just rub us the wrong way, those who irritate us. I take this to a whole new level when I think of loving those people. I can say I have no enemies but really enemy is such a big word we use for other people. Kind of like when the Bible says to no commit adultery but that lusting after another is the same. So, it's easy for me to say, oh I'm loving my enemies because I have none yet what about the co-worker who blasts me or the other co-worker who just irritates me. I need to love better. I need to love period.

Am I making any sense?

Just a little something from Judy said...

Love, blessing, showing mercy when mercy is not deserved...all things a great God desires to do through us, that we can't begin to do on our own. I am blessed again by your honesty, humility and courage.

Robynn's Ravings said...

I like the parts of the Bible that are about what OTHER people deal with, not ME! LOL

Good post, Sheryl. Been there, still doing that, too. :)

Word Verification: Supinnap - uh, ok, this is going to be a p.s. on my current post!

christy rose said...

Sheryl,
I have found that "from the inside out" actually is God empowering us to do what He requires of us because He now lives inside of us. As we yield to His ability to do good, bless, pray, give, love, be merciful and forgive, instead of thinking He is asking us to do those things on our own as a sacrifice or something, it is not difficult but easy. It is because we realize we can't do it but He can. And He lives in us. His requirement is really to depend upon Him in us to accomplish His work through us. From the inside out!!!! He is such a good God!!! What He requires of us, He will do if we lean on Him to do it instead of our own selves. Amen

Leslie said...

Yep, I'm right there with you! LALALALALA!!! I know God is telling me to forgive a certain boss of mine, and I keep thinking, "Nope! This person should be fired!" I'm trying to forgive him in my heart, but I don't know if I'll ever have the guts to do so in person. I'm being stubborn and hard headed because I know he'll get too much satisfaction out of it, and I personally think he needs to apologize to me. Oh Lord, help me!

Heather of the EO said...

You are just such an inspiration.

HOW crazy that the titles were the same!!!

I love how REAL you are, saying it like it is but also TRYING so hard to do what's right in the midst of your tough feelings. I just love you to pieces...

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

A great post...so glad you stopped by for a visit ..and so glad you were able to go to church....Hope you are having a good week.

Kristi said...

Grrrr. You know, I think I have a handle on this situation and then of course something else happens. I don't even think "they" try to hate on me. Actually, I know just the opposite, but they do anyways and we rub one another the wrong way. But it is what it is and I have to constantly release them back to God. Dang it. Thank you for this and for yet one more reminder that I haven't completely given this situation over to God yet. Dang it.

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