On today's episode of the Iron Saints Podcast, we continue our journey through the Gospel of Luke. Christ continues to preach after assembling His apostles and we move forward from the Beatitudes into some teaching on God's mercy and justice.
Love Your Enemies
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Lk 6:27–36.
Prayer Requests: Prayer list:
Alisa’s Daughter @Positivitypants - Healing and praise for daughter
Eric Hoke @Erichoke - His year of drawing near to the Lord after stepping down from his Lead Pastor role
Sarah Geringer @SarahGeringer- Prayer for spiritual protection over her and her family
Londraa @monyaee_loveee - Prayers to keep going
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As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Welcome back to the Iron Saints podcast with your host, Dan Willis. Welcome back, Saints. It's a new day and we are back at it. Continuing our walk through Luke. We did blessings and woes beatitudes yesterday. Thrilled to see how well that was received. Huge shout out again, guys, to all of you that have been taking the time to share out the podcast, just seeing the number of people that are able to hear God's word. And hopefully you guys are taking the time not just listen to the one podcast, but if you've missed some of the previous ones, take time to go back and listen. I'm actually pretty thrilled to have started with Luke. I'm looking forward to moving into acts following this. We're going to kind of do one, two, and then I hope to go through Paul's letters and Epistles. That's obviously going to take a long time at the pace that we're moving, but that is the plan. So hopefully you guys are able to continue walking along. And again, guys, this podcast was created with the intent of being a podcast to sharpen menophy. But all are welcome to listen. All are welcome to be a part of what's going on. 2s Any prayer request that you may have, wherever you are, it's in the description of the podcast, all the social media platforms as well as the email for the podcast. So if you have prayer requests, please don't hesitate to do that. Many of you have been doing that and I do appreciate that. I'm trying to make sure that stays corn. To this is praying for those who are listening, those who are in need. So without further ado, let's get down to it and head into Luke. So yesterday we got started after the apostles had been called. Jesus came down, collected a crowd, casting at demons, doing healing, started to preach. He did his blessings and woes his beatitudes, letting us know what the priorities are for the kingdom. Not priorities of this world, but the kingdom. If you miss that, do take the time to go back. The Beatitudes are one of those passages that is really corn central to Jesus upending worldly order of things and really getting people's eyes fixed on what God sees, what Christ sees, what the kingdom needs. So really love that passage. But today we're going into enemies and how that works, where love is placed as part of the gospel and what we're called to in that. So I'm pretty excited about that. For those of you that are following along, listening wherever you may be on your commute in the office, you don't have access to a Bible, you don't have one handy. Don't worry, I am going to read the passage out loud. We're going to do Luke 627 through 36 today. So for those of you that do have a Bible, want to grab it up and follow along, that's where we're at. I'll be reading from the ESV. Feel free to follow along in whatever version you'd like, of course, but for me, I like to read from the ESV. So let's get down to it here. But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from one who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you. And from one who takes away your good, do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great. You'll be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful even as your father is merciful. I really love this section and it's kind of cool how Christ does this where he he starts teaching and does blessings and woes and now he's going to do this idea of love and compassion and mercy and he follows it with a and we'll get this to tomorrow, but a passage of judgment and how judgment works. And we get mercy and judgment. We have got compassion, we've got God's wrath. We've got these two things that are he's trying to balance it out and get people very clear about where God's heart is and what it's about. And today, what we're doing as we go through this and we break down this idea of love, this concept of love, he's really trying to tell people this love is one that goes beyond what our flesh would say is right. And this one is really hard to do, especially in a day and age where especially in North America, we're heading into election season in the States. There's a lot of animosity between left and right. It seems like the media is constantly portraying somebody who's your enemy. You need to hate this person for one reason or another. And obviously for their purposes, that's really well and good. The more that they're able to create that animosity and that combative nature against people that are next door to you, it makes it easier for them to gain traction and to create a whole lot of news about every single event something happens. And you got to stoke the fire between two different groups to get them angry about it so that people are talking about it so that you become relevant. Unfortunately, that's not what God is calling for here. This really is a big deal to say, well, you know all those people that hurt you, that oppress you, those people that take things from you that belong to you? Well, the reality is you need to love on them and this would be a huge deal, right? You've got Romans that are oppressing the Jewish people all over this country. You've got Pharisees and Sadducees that are taking more than they're due and constantly fleecing their own people. Herod sitting high mighty. Well, there's those starving and dying under oppression, right? You have this nature of this area that has so many different groups and tribes in it and they all have this animosity towards each other and cultural animosity as well as personal animosity, right? Different races, different creeds, different cultures, all of it. It's constantly in the state of aggression towards each other and God's saying, Stop. Just stop. I am merciful, be merciful. Love those who you have issue with. I would challenge you, if you are listening to this today, to take a moment and consider who are my enemies? And I know a lot of us would immediately deflect and go, well, we don't really have enemies. Okay? But take a look at some of the things going on in society right now. Take look at some of the arguments and debates that are happening out there. Take a look at whatever instance. I don't want to name specific ones because it can dwell up hurt. But you know your own life. You know the things that are important to you. Take a look at the struggles that are going on there and consider the people that are on the other side of that struggle. 1s Would you say that you love on them? Would you say that you're praying for them? Would you say those that take from you, whether it's material possessions or time or emotional, whatever it may be, are you giving of that freely without expectation of anything in return? This is a hard challenge. I fall short of this. This is not me on a podcast somewhere out in the middle of the world saying, hey guys, I got this figured out. I hope you guys can figure it out too. I struggle with this in a serious way during my day to day during where I'm trying to earn income for my family. 2s I work in finance. I'm constantly dealing with the political and the economy. And those two sectors are constantly fueling hatred and aggression towards different groups. And the reality is that's a constant struggle. How do you pray for your enemies? How do you pray for nations that are coming against you? You see other countries that are waging war against your country. You see ideological wars that are happening all the time, where people are constantly attacking your ideal, your beliefs. You see people that are constantly dipping deeper and deeper hands in your pockets, taking money that you feel is yours. It's hard for me. It's a constant struggle every single day, which is why this devotion is so important, to get me centered and get me going. So I would challenge you really consider what would you label an enemy in your life? Just consider the other side of the things that you're a part of. And are you praying for them? Are you loving on them? What mercies are you showing them? It's a real challenge. This is not an easy one, and it seems like it could be so simple, but the actual application of it is so difficult because our flesh tells us, and the world around us tells us, you are justified to hate, to loathe, to get angry, to be aggressive towards these people, because they are not like you. They are not of you. They are not doing the things that you deem would be good for you. And yet God is showing up and saying, be merciful to that. Lend an ear, lend a heart. 2s Consider. All right, last but not least, we are going to do some prayers for today. Obviously, I'm going to, given this passage, include prayers for our enemies, prayers for those that would be our opposition. And however you guys have that on your heart, however you define that, the Holy Spirit will know and understand that. But as well, there are those who have submitted prayer requests online that I am going to take the time to go through as well. I have started to go through Twitter and different social feeds to see people that have prayer requests that would otherwise maybe go unanswered. They've called out to the massive thing that is the internet, hoping that somebody would pray for them. And I'm trying to pick from them a lot of the ones that don't have a ton of engagement, a lot of people that have said, oh yeah, I'll pray for that. So hopefully you guys can lift up those prayers as well. If you're looking to pray for people by name and kind of remember what that is, that will be in the description of the podcast as well. So that's there for you. A few of those people have just given their first name, which is fine, I understand that completely for anonymous reasons that's there. But for others, the full name is there as they put that request out publicly. So let's get down to it. Lord, thank you for your merciful nature, your love. Without it, we would all be doomed. You were sufficient on your own relationship, and fellowship with us wasn't demanded of you. You chose that. And to redeem us even more so, to send us Your son who would die for us, is remarkable. For those that hated you, that were adulterous, that turned from you, that sinned against you constantly, repetitively, with steadfastness, you gave your son, you died, you showed the ultimate mercy, you gave with expectation thing in return. And that's the good grace that we have. That's the gospel we have. And I pray that each of us in our own walks, Lord, would be able to examine who our enemies might be. And I'm sure right now there's many of us that can have names or groups of people that come to heart and mind, Lord, and I just pray that our hearts would be softened, that we would show that mercy that you have. There is one judge, and it's not us, it's you. I pray that we would continue to persist in Your mercy towards people around us so they might see the love of Christ, that unconditional love, that gospel, that good news. Lord, I lift up Alyssa to you. Continue praise for the healing that you have done. And we want to continue praying for her daughter as she continues the journey to being fully healed. Lord, we're going to continue to lift her up in prayer until Alyssa is able to give us the all clear that she's come through, Lord, I lift up Eric hope to you. He's continuing to draw near to You, Lord. Stepping down from a lead pastor role is not easy. That's a lot of responsibility and commitment that you take on when you take that role. And so to be able to show humility and to step down from that role and say, I need to take the time to draw near to God if I'm going to be in this role effectively and efficiently. It's really, really crucial, Lord, that you're with Him during this time, that he not be distracted, that he not have the desire not to be steadfast in this sabbatic. He's taken to draw near to you. Keep him focused on You, Lord, in this time, and help Him to hear you very clearly. Pray that he's in. The word. He's constantly in prayer as he seeks you. Lord, I lift up Sarah Garringer to you. She's praying for spiritual protection over her and her family right now, Lord. She has a list of prayers and 2s I hope that she is calling out to you, and I'm sure she is right now, and I would like to lift her up as well, Lord, as she seeks protection, as she seeks guidance from you moving forward, that you would be there for her and her family. Lord, I lift up wander to you. She needs prayers to keep going. She's struggling, she's in a time of hardship, Lord, and you never give us more than we can bear in our trials, but you also promise to be there with us through those trials, Lord, so I lift her up to you and I lift up her needs as she struck through her trials. Lord, I'm not asking you to do the things for her. I'm asking you to be there alongside her as she perseveres in steadfastness to find Christ likeness through her struggles and trials. Lord, bless this day, bless the saints that are listening. Lord your name we pray. Thanks, guys. I really hope you have an amazing day. I love seeing the feedback that's coming, and I look forward to being here again tomorrow. Have an amazing day. Thank you for listening to the Iron Saints podcast. If you are looking to share your prayer requests, check the description for social media or email to contact the show. Blessings on you all. Until next time.