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I’m over six decades old, I lived through the Vietnam war era. I remember the hatred. Remember the violence. I remember the anger and the destruction. Yet, never in all of my life have I seen the level of hatred anger and violence that we see today.

There is no respect for life, there’s no respect for persons belongings, there’s no respect for persons feelings. I think the saddest part is I see no difference between the verbal abuse of those who claim to be Christians in those who claim not to be Christians. It seems like the entire human race, in United States at least, is devouring one another with our judgmental attitudes, our words and violence.

To be honest, that doesn’t surprise me in one sense. The ruler of this world is Satan. He is the great deceiver. His intent is to destroy us. It would seem for now as though he is winning.

Yet the words Jesus speaks in Luke still ring true today. As believers in Jesus we should never be guilty of speaking evil against anyone. That’s hard to do in our culture. But it’s what Jesus did. We are called to love our enemies, to giving to them, to be understanding of them even when we don’t agree with them.

When I say I love you it doesn’t mean I agree with your actions. When I say I love you it’s not based on how you feel about me or what you say about me. My love for you isn’t based on what you do or how you look or how you act. My love for you is based on the love Jesus has for me.

If you are a believer in Jesus today let me encourage you to make it a matter of prayer to love those who are abusing you. To pray for those who are bound with the chains of evil and blinded by the darkness. Remember, our battle isn’t against the left or the right, or Republicans or Democrats, for this race or that race. Our battle is against the forces of darkness and those who listen to the prince of this world, Satan.

His time is short. The victory will be ours someday. But in the meantime, let us as followers of Jesus show the world what real love and real acceptance and forgiveness is about. We were sent here to be salt and the light of the earth and negativity will never do that. Let love be our guide and the Holy Spirit be our power to accomplish what Jesus has sent us to do.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬

There really are only two kingdoms. There is the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of Satan, our enemy. There is no middle ground.

The kingdom of God is a kingdom of light and love and forgiveness and acceptance.

The Kingdom of Satan is the kingdom of darkness and hate and anger and doubt.

Within each of us there is a battle as to which kingdom we will follow. Our passions and emotions scream at us to take care of ourselves and fight for our own rights through our own power. Those are the voices of the kingdom of the enemy.

God‘s kingdom is completely different. To the human mind God’s kingdom makes no sense. While the enemy screams at us that we need to take care of ourselves, God’s Kingdom quietly tells us we need to give up ourselves and trust God.

It doesn’t seem logical, but the more I give up, the more I gain. With God’s kingdom less is more because when we give ourselves entirely over to him he needs our emotional and spiritual needs. When we find that contentment, the physical becomes less important and the spiritual becomes our passion.

When we align our lives with God’s word, our desires will follow. So don’t listen to the voices to tell you your destiny is your responsibility. Give God your destiny and he will give you a peace that passes all understanding

“From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me. Let all Israel repeat this: From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me, but they have never defeated me. My back is covered with cuts, as if a farmer had plowed long furrows. But the Lord is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.” Psalms‬ ‭129:1-4‬

Sometimes it seems like the whole world is against you and you can’t catch a break. You try to make a difference and you’re misunderstood. You live as best you can for Jesus only to be ridiculed. You may have even been thrown under the bus a few times by those you trusted.

You read the Bible. You pray. You do the very best you can to make a difference in other peoples lives and it seems like they don’t listen and they don’t care. In fact, sometimes they turn on you and call you all kinds of names or even attack you.

I wonder if that’s how the Psalmist felt when he wrote these verses. He bore the scars of an entire life of attack, pain and rejection. He didn’t play the victim card. He was a victim! I wonder if that’s not how Paul felt when he said we are beaten down, we are persecuted but we will prevail.

As a Jesus follower, life can be a a good news/bad news situation. Life will be full of a lot of disappointments. Life will be full of a lot of pain. We will be attacked for preaching the message of Godliness to the godless.

But as believers in Jesus we have this to look forward to. Ultimate victory is ours through Jesus. So hang in there. Don’t be discouraged. It may seem dark now but there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is Jesus.

The psalmist ends these verses with a promise to hang onto in the upcoming darkness of hatred.

“But the Lord is good; he has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.”

Our mission is discipleship; Never forget that.

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