Walking With Love In A World Filled With Hate
We now are living in a world that is filled with hate. People are killing each other because they have a difference of opinion or because some are doing the other wrong. Love for our fellow man is fast leaving the hearts of our people. Satan is working to destroy the love among us and any peace we might have.
We see people hating a complete race because of what a few are doing. Yet God is no respecter of persons but loves all equally.
It is hard for us to love others when we are faced with hate and the results of that hate. Yet to live a life for Christ we have to love despite the hate of others and how others treat us.
Hate has been around since the beginning of time. If we look back into the book of Genesis we read where Cain hated his brother Abel and killed him.
Genesis 4: 8-10
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
Cain was so jealous and hated his brother so much he killed his own flesh and blood. Hate and jealousy have serious consequences. It causes us to do and say things that are not pleasing to God. It also brings destruction to our lives and others lives. Because of what Cain did the bible says he was cursed from the earth.
11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
Sometimes it is so easy to hate but hate and vengeance is never the answer. The Lord does not want us to hate our brother and those who appear to be our enemies but to love and forgive those who would hate and persecute us.
In the New Testament we read of a man who loved the Lord and was teaching others of Christ and His salvation. Because he was teaching the salvation of Christ he was hated by those who did not understand or want to understand the salvation that Christ had brought to the world. This man was Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.
15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
When I read this passage I wonder how they could have seen the Spirit of God on Stephen and yet have hated Stephen so much. Stephen had a true love for God and the people this was why he was doing all he could to teach them about Christ and His salvation. I am sure Stephen often became frustrated as we read in the passage below. It is so easy for us to also become frustrated when we see our people, especially those who are close to us turn away from God’s truth. Yet we still have to love and forgive as Stephen did.
48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?
50 Hath not my hand made all these things?
51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, (Stephen) calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Even though these people hated Stephen and stoned him Stephen still loved them and asked the Lord to forgive them for what they were doing.
In the days we are now living in we cannot be overcome with hate and unforgiveness. Just as Stephen did we have to love and forgive those who hate us and treat us wrongly.
The bible tells us that vengeance is the Lords not ours.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto(turn away from) wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
So how are we to react to the hate or being wronged? Are we to be like the world or are we to love others, even our enemies?
I John 4:7-8 says
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
I John 3:11-16 also says,
11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (not just our physical life but our thoughts, our ways and actions)
23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Ephesians 4:26 says “Be yea angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
Jesus had forgiveness for those who where killing Him as He hung on the cross. Jesus teaches us we must forgive to be forgiven.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Within ourselves we cannot forgive or love our friends much less our enemies as we should. Only through the power of Christ living in us can we love and forgive. So let us pray for the Lord to restore in us a clean heart and a right spirit, one of love and forgiveness. Let us pray daily this prayer as David did.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
In Jesus Precious Name. Amen