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December 3, 2021 5:00 am
Let me ask you who is the person in your life who you disagree with everything. It doesn't matter if you're talking about the news or politics or religion. It seems that you're always on the opposite sides of everything. If you're tired of butting heads with that person and you wish there was a better way to really gauge even stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible, thanks for joining us as to continues a series what now what I revving up his message on healing, not hostility as a quick reminder if you miss a portion of this program catch up. Great way to listen to Living on the Edge will strip with today's talk.
Jesus would say you've heard the law said that punishment must match the injury. You know an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth, but I say to you, do not resist an evil person. Someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also if your suit in court.
Sure it is taken from you give your coat to if a soldier demands that you care his gear for a mile, which they could do legally carry it for 2 miles give to those who asked don't turn away from those who want to borrow. You've heard the law says love your neighbor and hate your enemies but I say love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and that way you will be acting as true children of your father in heaven will why, how does he treat people for he gives sunlight to both evil and the good he sends rain on the just and on the unjust. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that even corrupt tax collectors do that much if you're kind to only your friends how are you different from anyone else, even pagans do that if you grown up in the church or lived in America for a long time. We can read comments like that and it's just like what I heard you know were familiar.
It sounds like something we ought to put on a plaque and by the Christian bookstore if there still were Christian bookstores to most radical thoughts ever spoken by Jesus. And yes, you know, we can you know do a lot of more developed teaching in the front end of that and what he meant by the slap on the cheek and the insult and all the rest. The thesis of this is really easy. We don't give people what they deserve. We don't give them justice. We treat them the way God has treated us who while we were his enemy, Christ died in our place. Question is how you do this. How do you practice this kind of completely different attitude. First and foremost, in and of ourselves we can't but as time went on, the apostle Paul is going to say to a very unique community in Rome, where there were little pockets. You know, we somehow think the church back then is like the church today. There were little pockets meeting and multiple homes and they were very unique might be little Jewish group over here in a Gentile group over here and might be one nationality over here in another nationality over here and Paul is his writing this letter to pool all these people together and NSC says I'm on my way to Spain.
Boy what a visionary, I'm going to stop in Rome. You never made it past so that I want what you ought to get really clear about what the gospel is first three chapters, all of sin and fall short of the glory of God. Chapters 4 and five, God by his grace and saved you if you will just believe. Chapter 6 to write. This is how you grow in holiness and chapters 9 through 11. Here's a parentheses I want you to know Jewish Christians that God will fulfill all his promises to David on the throne, and Abraham about the lands you can trust him. Chapter 12 in light of all God's grace.
This is how you live in.
The first thing you offer yourself and you go into a journey in a process, not to be conformed to the world and I want to skip toward the end where he explains how to practically live out Jesus command to be a healing agent instead of the hostile command number one Romans 12 verse 17 never pay back evil with more evil do things in such a way that everyone can see that your Hon. do all that you can to live in peace with everyone literally. It's consider what's right in the sight of all men were consider means it's a protracted thought to understand that even those you most radically disagree with, and whoever that is another race. Another political party. Another background another denomination.
People who philosophically are different.
Consider other words, everyone lives in a way that makes sense to them in connection with other human being starts with empathy. It starts with will. This is how they grew up. This is how they think this is how they live. So actually I can see how though I completely disagree. That's how they perceive life with weekly so quickly we have in us and we have of them and were right, whoever we are and they're wrong says don't do that. He says that goes beyond that, dear friends, never take your own revenge leave room for the righteous anger of God. For the Scripture says I will revenge I will repay them back, says the Lord. Instead, if your enemy is hungry, feeding these thirsty, give them something to drink and doing this you will heap burning coals of shame upon their heads. Three different commands don't pay back evil. Never take revenge if your enemy has a need. Give him what he needs and finally the axiomatic principle. Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
Very first time in my life. I got to experience the power of this was I played basketball in college and I was the only Christian on the team and we had a guy who been in prison. He was in Vietnam had scars like this been in prison for quite a while for being a drug dealer and I played in a in a small college very competitive, and the only reason he played on a small college was because of this. All he'd been through. His hands were very good. He was about six, nine, and had about a 42 inch vertical and I mean there's times where he get a rebound in his elbows's head would be over the rim and in his words. He described himself. I'm an evil man, and I have a testimony he was, and I remember I was going to my my dorm room one day and then another room was cracked and the RA was there and this fellow and they were smoking dope and it was illegal. Back then, and if you get caught 1/3 time he's going back to prison for a long time and I I just you know you make eye contact on the brother so I'm at my door and I feel something on my head and he turns me around and then he lifts me up with my chin like this and he looks me in the little man actually didn't say little man, but I can't repeat what he said you say a word.
Let me tell you something I've killed people and I will kill you if you've ever been threatened by someone who really means it. I was scared to death and then I hated him and I got eaten up with Hank, and I was the Pete Maravich fan growing up and so I did all those drills before staff was doing him and so in warm-ups. I trauma behind the back pass really hard right to the hand slid through things right in the face. I just paid him back paid him back. I didn't practice and I mean I couldn't sleep at night. I had acid stomach. He treated me like dirt. I was a freshman so you know everything from caring is bad to and I remember getting with the spiritual leader of our campus ministry.
I just become a Christian, I mean not much over year as I don't know what to do. I hate this man on him. I don't know on some of you experience this is a scary thing. We think somehow that all of us are beyond doing something Karen does not of us are beyond doing something around us. Check out Nazi Germany and I'll never forget the this older brother says I II can solve this for you but you'll have to trust me I said okay. He read Romans chapter 12 actually started verse 14 where it says bless those who persecute you, bless and curse not is what I want to do some to start praying for him every day.
Not not not that God strike him dead which was hot where I was at and then he says I want you to think of every way possible that you can bless them and help them because you don't have to feel like it and I just he left.
I thought menu you're on drugs. I'm not doing that in the spirit convicted me and I just am a decision no more behind the back passes. No more look passes when he made a basket. I actually cheered. I would go into the locker room and we you know you when you undress, you know that they had stuff and we put them in bags and we and the manager would take him I would take his stuff up and do it at the training table instead of him getting on me.
I would go and say hey Jared you want something else. And I mean I did that and you know what nothing happened and then we got to the end of the year big tournament and that he was a senior. He was graduating and I'll never forget. He he said you know you know I don't believe in God, I'm evil. And I know them, even if there's a hell I'm going there, but what he was extremely smart and amazing artists is seven I'm done with you, kid is not fun anymore because I don't believe in anything at all about Christianity and I met so many hypocrites if I was ever to be one thing I want to be one like you because there's only two people on this whole team that I respect me. I'm evil and you because at least you're living out your faith.
That was it.
Peace now if he knew what I was thinking most the time living out my faith. You know we confused obedience and feelings. You have to feel like doing what's right.
Obedience is doing what's right. In fact, I think God finds more delight when you don't want to read the Bible and you read it when you don't want to pray and you pray when you don't want to give and yet you understand I need to wind when you really your emotions tell you one thing, which is often your flesh.
You say Lord this is my offering. I'm choosing to do it out of loyalty and love to you the second time I got to experience this was I pastored in Santa Cruz for about 12 years and we had a very significant homosexual population. We had a lot of runaway teens and a lot of people involved in the occult, and it was especially significant with a lot of HIV patients and and I remember sitting down with the former Mary was a business owner, I think you personally. Homosexual and we sat down and had had lunch downtown Santa Cruz and I was pastoring a church that had grown pretty much and I developed a little deal with about 50 other churches we met once a month and week. We came up with a dream and a plan in obedience to what Jesus said how can we help people that are HIV-positive and so what we teamed up by we had a deal with all the other pastors and and we worked out a thing with the county and and we we actually went through training and we could anybody with HIV we would drive to the doctor drug to the grocery store we would we would honor the county we would not try and proselyte, but we got permission if they ask us why were doing what were doing, we could tell them about Jesus and so we did and so we we did the same thing with runaway teens.
We did the same thing with the poor, and as a coalition and I'm sitting across the table from this person who once we got talking.
It became we were roughly the same age we both became revolutionaries in college he went to Berkeley and the city ends the radical the 70s and and I went away to college and became a Christian and I became this radical crazy zealot for Jesus and he became this radical crazy zealot for progressivism at wheat we talked in and we talked about what we are doing. I said how can we serve you know he was the mayor and what can we do to serve you here and I'll never forget now is about an hour and 1/2 lunch, never. I've never forget thinking. I disagree with everything with this guy I sure like you and I really liked him and there's a lot of people that don't have intellectual integrity he did.
I thought you believe this. This is your view of mankind. You think they're basically good. You think this is the answer and you're acting on it. I can respect that.
Now I don't think man is basically good.
I think Jesus is the answer, but we sat across the table and he cared about HIV positive people wouldn't ask them how they got it and we talked about runaway teens and what was happening. We talked about the poor and around those things.
We partnered together and here's what happens. There wasn't any. Them's anymore. Yeah, I've because of my basketball back on any I've been a minority, have been the white guy on the black team and when I find a lot of white people. You don't have any black friends or any black friends some people don't have white friends or you know you make statements, but do you have any friends that are in the homosexual community understand what's their story and where they've been and where they coming from and where there hurts its engagement.
It's speaking the truth without compromise its caring we don't have to agree with everyone. What a difference it makes. He says in doing this you will heap burning coals on their head. This is an amazing picture. I didn't grow up studying the Bible and a member thinking early on. While this is great like if you do the right thing that'll stop and I want him to sap this guy like you know and then I did a little research later on and in the ancient near East. If someone had realized that they had made a big mistake and they were repenting they would build a fire and they would take the calls and put in the pan and then they put a towel under the pan and they put the towel on their head and they would walk through the village and they walked to the village there saying these hot calls are burning out my bad thinking I was wrong see when you love people in ways where they know in their heart of hearts, they don't deserve it because of how they've spoken to you what they said about you, what they posted what they tweeted and instead of responding in kind. You respond no compromise but in love. It often is the very thing it creates the sense of why would people do that.
In other words, it's a picture of how God changes people's hearts the principal as we can't do this in our own strength but what we often quote this passage I put here in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 20 and 21 you will praise God not to him was able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we ask and think. According to his power like are we glad God does great things will let's read a little more carefully about this now all glory to God who is able by his mighty power at work in us you have the power within you with the surrendered life and commitment to his word in the context of encouraging deep community to return good for evil to not respond on Facebook to not become one of those angry, resentful, bitter, fearful Christians who alienate people outside the church, and inside the church because his power works within us what to accomplish more than we could think or ask what that means.
In summary, is this in America's post truth post Christian culture. It demands that we live first as citizens of heaven.
Philippians 3 and second citizens of America for a lot of people. We see a lot of post who stole our country to extremes. We know that we can't, sir, come to angry engagement, often revolving around nationalism or fearful withdrawal which is separatism. Wisdom I wish it was an easy path.
A simple path, but wisdom demands that we reject accommodation its mask in the name of love where we cave into what's true don't stick to Scripture on all issues including morality and gender and all the rest and we have to reject personal preservation mask is truth. All this is truth relates about our rights in us keeping our world our way.
We have to I think reject silos and separatism mask impurity where we become little groups that we wall ourselves off God's calling is healing instead of hostility.
We must be agents of healing without compromise. We must move out of our Christian silos and subcultures and enter the fray and fight hate fight prejudice fight injustice fight legalism fight division with love in action and words of truth and doesn't begin with some Messiah, some movement, some groups somewhere, somehow. It starts with me in my heart and my life in you. And there was a little group of people that took Jesus at his word and they turn the world upside down with far less resources than we have God, thank you that you have given power inside of our human bodies as we have trusted you to do things actually as amazing as raising the dead Lord.
It will take a miracle to replace bitterness and hate and prejudice and replace it with empathy and concern for take incredible power to not cave in to speak truth firmly kindly lovingly what will be viewed as anti-intellectual and bigoted even hate speech God.
Would you please allow us beginning here. Beginning today in a fresh way to let our loyalty be to you to make us healing agents will you forgive us for hostility. The things we posted the things we said the people we flamed Lord we want to ask your kingdom come, not ours. In the year will be done not on earth as it is Jesus will be right back with his message, not hostility from his series, what you know what next have recent events in our world opened your eyes to some major flaws in the 21st-century church.
Are you wrestling with the status quo.
In the old adage, that's just how things have always been done well in this new series chip encourages us to revisit the foundational truths Jesus taught and reconsider how we are to lovingly engage with people by using the word Christ is an acronym chip highlight six life-changing ways we can continue making disciples. Especially in these disruptive times. You don't want to miss a single part of this timely series. For more information about what now what next go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA to 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org which if today you said one way to better understand someone with different beliefs or values is to walk in their shoes and OC life from their perspective. But before we can do that we have to do some serious self reflection. Can you take just a minute and explain a little bit more to us absolutely day. You know it's so easy. During this time to feel hostile and to be angry and to respond in ways what I've learned sometimes is yes, it's the external things. But if we have unresolved issues in our own heart.
When we feel like you don't really like you. It's just really hard to give love and healing to others and I remember early in our marriage my my wife really had a hard time communicating her love and as we went and got some counseling. It became obvious that not only did she have a very low self-image. She didn't really like herself. She made through some very painful experiences and I remember we started reviewing these cards they were called affirmation cards and then over the years, she added more and more and I watched her bloom and what I saw was as she begin to see herself as loved and valued an important and unique in God's eyes and that she was safe and secure.
Then what I saw that overflowing her ability to share that with others and you know I think one of the great things for our listeners right now is if you find yourself spewing or you know someone that struggling we have these affirmation cards, the very ones that my wife and I reviewed every morning for two years as we were trying to learn how to accept and receive God's love, so we can give it to one another.
These affirmation cards have been just something God is used in thousands and thousands of people's lives so Dave wanted to take a minute and tell people how they can get them and how we can get loved so we can give it close. Churchill said the only way we can be agents of healing in this hostile world is to first understand God's love for us in these affirmation cards will help you do that will expose the lies you believe about yourself and instead fill your mind with powerful truths about who you are in Jesus, let me encourage you get a set of these affirmation cards today and if you like to give them as a Christmas gift.
You only have a few days left to place your order so your gift will arrive before December 25 for more great Christmas gift ideas go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us a triple late.
333-6003 app listeners tap special offers which are before we hear your application. I like to quote something you said today you said we must move out of our Christian silos and subcultures and enter the fray and fight eight fight prejudice fight injustice fight legalism fight division with love in action and words. In truth know that's a boatload of ideas so could you break down what you meant absolutely day. Here's what I really want to say I'm calling my fellow brothers and sisters, including pastors, to repent, to change our mind.
We have to stop spewing anger about the things in our country and in the church and political parties and with family members who disagree with us and we have just allowed this thing to take a life of its own and it's ungodly and it's wrong. Second, there's another group that has the culture has changed.
We have to stop hiding because some of our views biblically are unpopular.
Okay, we can't back away from the Bible is the word of God. We can't back away from what the Bible teaches about gender issues, compassionate understanding, absolutely.
But we can't now kind of act like everything's okay and be quiet.
We have to say it kindly, lovingly, and third, we have to stop posting and talking and start loving and serving I'm involved in the church here in San Jose that in the midst of all of this, a very young church very multicultural but what I've watched them do is change the hearts of their strongest antagonist because of what they've done. The schools were closed so they brought in food trucks for the kids. It normally would get lunch or breakfast at school and they paid for the college admissions in this low income area for kids that didn't even have the money to apply to college. They love the teachers and things in such a way that one guy sent them a video that said I'm anti-religion. I'm really basically anti-Christianity, but I don't know who you are or where you come from, but the way you've loved our students love their teachers and love the school.
I just can't deny that what ever you're doing is beautiful and wonderful that was Jesus command for his early disciples. And that's the command for us. Can I encourage you to be an agent of healing stop talking start acting find a need and meet it and maybe start loving someone that you don't like very well and watch God work as we close, I want to say thank you to those who make this program possible through your generous financial support of you found today's program helpful but have never supported us financially. There's never been a better time than right now.
When you give a gift to Living on the Edge from now till December 31. It will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to some very generous friends of the ministry making a donation is easy just go to LivingontheEdge.org tap donate only up or give us a call a triple late. 333-6003 on behalf of Chip and everyone here. Thank you in advance for your generosity. Once Alexa is saying thanks for listening to this edition of