What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Matthew 5:43-45 (NLT)
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

Jesus Christ was a paradigm shifter to say the least. He started his statement in Matthew 5:43 with “you have heard…” This allows us to know that the popular teaching during the time he came on the scene was completely contradictory to the knowledge and wisdom that he laid out. How absolutely mind blowing it must have been for those listening. To think that they had made a pattern of hating their enemies and loving only those who loved them. Jesus Christ blazed a new trail by speaking of a higher, more enlightened, and spiritually intelligent way of handling enemies. He said love them, then you’ll draw a line in the sand between those that are representing God’s love and those that are not.

It must have sounded preposterous to those who would absolutely refuse to move away from their old way of thinking and behaving. Not only did he tell them to love their enemies, but he took it a step further. He said pray for them who persecute you! What!!! Make no mistake, Jesus Christ knew exactly the uproar his revolutionary words would cause. He came to shake things up and to set a new, higher standard for living a spiritual life. You can’t do this without knocking down the error first, so that newness has a fresh place to land.

Even though many single sisters are Christians, and have been for years, they still cling to old paradigms or patterns; some of which Jesus Christ has specifically told us to kick to the curb. We’re still complaining about how hard good men are to find, when we know from God’s Word that they are the ones to do the finding. We’re playing around with the temptations that dating often leads to, when God has called us to use our time as singles to tighten our relationship with Him. Patterns like these must be eradicated if we’re to step into a greater level of love, and thereby draw out a greater love from the one who will ultimately be our partner in life.

Jesus Christ told us that our Heavenly Father rains down blessings on both the just and the unjust. In your mind, you might see yourself as a woman that is living right; on the other hand, you see a woman that isn’t nearly as dedicated to the faith as you are, and she’s engaged to be married. “What’s wrong with this picture?” you ask yourself. Stuff like this may have you feeling a little like those who first heard the message of love that Jesus taught in Matthew 5:43-45.

The truth is that God doesn’t love the saved person more than He loves the unsaved person. He loves all of us, which is why Jesus instructed us to love and pray for our enemies. So we can’t focus on some of the things that we see, but don’t quite understand.

Your focus must rest in the reality that God has specifically called you out from among the world. This means that there are some things that you are required to do in order to fulfill your destiny in Christ. You can never underestimate God’s allegiance to see you become all that He has called you to be. You may see others enjoying the blessings that you desire for yourself, but you cannot be deterred. God is perfecting something in you. James 1:4 (NIV) encourages us, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Always remember that Jesus Christ has called us to a higher, more enlightened, spiritually intelligent way of life. Not to make us better than anyone else, but he has called us to light the path for those who have not yet beheld his glory in the way that we have. Your future husband will be all that you desire and more, but he will need you to be strong in ways that you don’t yet realize. Trust that God is grooming you to receive this tremendous blessing. Help Him to knock down those old paradigms of error that have gotten in your way. Represent God’s love always, and trust that the Holy Spirit will prepare you for what is to come as you do.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

“What’s Wrong with This Picture?”, written for findchristianman.com ©2019.  All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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