We were on our way home from a June vacation in Colorado, moving through the center of the Texas panhandle. The skies were partly cloudy when I saw the rain ahead of us. Past what you see in the photo, the shower stopped as quickly as it started. The first verse that came to mind was:
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:45 KJV)
Not that I knew of either person under that short shower. In fact, that land might not have held a structure of any kind. Neighbors there were scarce.
Jesus’ words were part of the Sermon on the Mount. People often think of this sermon being given to the multitude, sitting on the side of a mountain, with Jesus above them on a hillside. I ask you to again look at the first few verses. In fact, pick up the last verse of the previous chapter, too:
And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, (Matthew 4:25 - 5:2 KJV)
What I envision is Jesus going up into a mountain and his disciples came. Not the multitudes. It is to those called to His service that hear how followers should live.
After the “Be Attitudes”, visions of salt, light and explanation of the law, He speaks of our enemies, defining their treatment.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:43-44 KJV)
Peter carried the message away with him that day and wrote of it later.
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9 KJV)
Do we? The way to be certain is to place that person on a prayer list. If there is someone specifically identifiable as an enemy, that harbors hate, Christ Himself requires that we pray for them.
What would that prayer be? Vengeance? Nope, that belongs to the Lord. The simplest is to pray that God will hold them in His hand. That God’s will be done in their lives. That God will soften their hearts and they will come to know His love.
What better way for a person to change? What a blessed way for us to have a part in that change.