Great Friday Service | Mt. Zion Church | 14 April 2017
MP3 file: 20170414MP_PowerToLove.mp3
Jesus’ cross is all about love. The crucifixion is the proof of the greatest love that the human being ever seen. Today we are not going only celebrate about His love but we want to let His love fill up our heart so we are able to love others too. The true love is not only about beautiful words but heavenly love is about action! As we continue our series about “power to do more”, Jesus finished His teaching about the new dimension of love with a command so we can love our enemies.
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV
THE TRUE ENEMY
We need to redefine our understanding about the enemy itself. Who is our true enemy?
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
As believers, we are not supposed to count other peoples as our enemies. They are not our enemies. Apostle Paul told us that we must not fight against flesh and blood, which is another people. We may see a lot of bad people around us, but from now on let’s consider them not as our enemies because practically there are something behind all of them! The most responsible for all evil in this world is the devil. Devil is our enemy! God never ask His people to love the devil. God ask His people to love their enemy but not the devil. This is the first reason and also the first power to love our enemies. God gave us power to see the real enemies behind another people that we may assume as our enemy for long time. In medical perspective, all doctors know that one of their enemy is the germ (bacteria, virus, etc.) and not the patient itself. Even they encounter with the most dangerous infected patient, the doctor always treat patient with love and will never hate their patients.
22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude 1:22-23 NKJV
THE ACTION OF LOVE
44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you Matthew 5:44 NKJV
Jesus taught His people that the real love always come together with action. Apostle James told us if faith does not have works so the faith is dead Jm.2:17. Jesus explained the action of love with 3 different works. Jesus not only put it in His words but also in His action. As we celebrate via dolorosa (the route believed to have been taken by Christ through Jerusalem to Calvary), we can see how Jesus love other people who already acted as His enemy.
Speaking blessing means that we ask God’s blessing on a thing. Blessing our enemy means that we must ask God’s blessing on them! This will never be easy; however, God give us the divine power to do this! We need to always remember that we are the seed of Abraham, the person who God said that “in you all the nations shall be blessed!” Gal.3:8-9.
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So, then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. Galatians 3:8-9 NKJV
God already prepared the big blessing for His people who want to live in the same faith of Abraham. When we bless our enemy, who cursed us, let’s not see in a short vision. When we are blessing our enemy, at the same time it will pull out God’s blessing in our life as well! When we decide to always obey to Jesus’ command and always speak blessing for our enemy, just imagine how much blessing that will be received in our life 1Ptr.3:9!
8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender hearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1Peter 3:8-9 NKJV
2: DO GOOD
Not only loving with the word of blessing, Jesus also taught His people to do good to those who hate us! Instead of doing nothing for our enemies we are supposed to do good for them! Instead of stepping out from our enemies Jesus asked us to step closer! Doing good means doing any harm, doing rightly so that there shall be no room for blame, doing excellently and honourably. God gave us power to do this as well! Let’s see form God’s point of view that whenever we do a good thing God is ready to repay it! When we are doing good to our enemy maybe we will get nothing from them. But the Holy Spirit will always remind us that there is nothing to lose as whatever we sow, we will also reap. Never be tired to do good knowing that we will reap everlasting life!
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:7-10 NKJV
Jesus always encourage His people to pray as this action is the most powerful method to gain more blessing and strength from heaven! Speaking blessing and doing good for the enemies can be very exhausted. Without any time for pray anyone will end up with burn out trying to obey Jesus’ teaching. Jesus told us to have a dedicated time to pray so we can receive more strength and wisdom for speaking blessing and doing good thing.
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41 NKJV
Before Jesus had the great tribulation in His humanity life, Jesus dedicated His last precious time to pray in Gethsemane. Judas knew that place well because Jesus often had a prayer meeting there with the disciples Jn.18:2. Loving our enemies will never be as easy as when we have the power of prayer in our life!
As we celebrate His love in this wonderful Great Friday, let’s dedicate more of our time to come in His presence, asking for His wisdom and let His love heals our life so we can have the power to love our enemies. AMEN.