Ever felt like blasting off from earth to find a new life in a new world?
Sci-fi like the picture is just for fun, but life can get tough here on earth.
Stuff happens: job stuff, people stuff, financial stuff, and we won’t even go anywhere near the media/political world. It can be crazy out there, and it’s the same ol’ game that’s been going on for millennium.
Trust me, the Roman world in 33 AD,…wasn’t Utopia.
Roman soldiers weren’t cuddly bears. By Roman law they could snatch anyone off the streets and force them to carry their gear for a mile, and we can well guess they didn’t say, “Please.”
Brutality in the Roman world was so commonplace it wasn’t given a second thought. Or that is until Jesus suggested to his followers that we should, “Love our enemies.” “Turn the other cheek,” – “Go the extra mile.”
When we love someone going the ‘extra mile’ is super easy. It’s a joy to enrich our loved one’s lives. But to those who are cruel to us?
Hello? What was our LORD thinking?
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 43-45
Perhaps the LORD was offering us a glimpse of a new life on a new world. A world where we can love one another and be kind to one another.
Of course being mere mortals we can’t change the entire world, but we can effectuate ‘change’ in our world.
Noooooooo,…that’s not humanly possible.
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Absolutely,…God spoke the world into being,…what could possibly be beyond our God’s ability? The Bible is filled with miracle upon miracle,…especially the miracle of redemption,…the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. To die for our sins is one thing, but to be raise to everlasting life that’s where the impossible is made possible, and that possibility is what changes lives even in the 21st century.
One of the nice things about the LORD is that punches are never pulled,…always the LORD gives it to us straight,…such that we were NEVER promised perfect lives.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
What do you think happened the first time one of Jesus’ followers willingly marched along with that Roman solider for the extra mile? Do you think the self sacrifice totally messed with that Roman dude’s mind? Or maybe it was a tiny seed planted in the man’s heart? And what about the follower? How was their world changed?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:3-12
When you have an encounter with God,…your world view does change.
People are seen not as enemies,…but brother and sisters. Maybe they don’t know it, but that’s okay we’re not required to deal with another person’s hang ups,…only our own.
Also we can be grateful we’re not required to face life under our own strength,…because no mere mortal is strong enough to face the world. Instead we know that, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 – that includes going the extra mile for even ‘those’ people in our lives who are put in our lives to effectuate change – in their world and ours.
Hang in there,…it’s a comfort to know with God nothing is impossible!