Hey Readers! Monday Music is a place where you can listen to a song and be guided through a short time of scripture, contemplation and prayer to start your work week. I hope you’re encouraged and strengthened by them! Feel free to leave a comment about potential songs that speak to you or any other thoughts you have. I’d love to connect! – Seth
“BROTHER” by The Brilliance
This week is less of a typical worship song directed to God Himself, but more of a declaration, confession and prayer that God would make these words true. I pray that we may repent and change our hearts if need be, but more than anything, that we would know the forgiveness and love of God.
Loving, merciful God, lead us to love like You. To see others through the lens of Jesus – just like You see them. To the love the unlovable. To serve the selfish. To give without question. To welcome the lost and broken. Open and heal our hearts. Pour Your light into our dark places and help us to see everyone as your child and our own brothers and sisters. Amen.
When I look into the face of my enemy
I see my brother
I see my brother
Forgiveness is the garment
Of our courage
The power to make the peace
We long to know
Open up our eyes
To see the wounds that bind
All of humankind
May our shutter-hearts
Greet the dawn of life
With charity and love
A THOUGHT & SCRIPTURE
Who’s your enemy? Right now. Who is it? Have you ever thought about it? Maybe you have someone as specific as the guy holding a gun opposite from you, along a true battle line, somewhere in current war zone. I don’t think most of us could make that connection, but perhaps it’s a bully at school or work. Maybe you’re so embroiled in the political realm that it’s a person in the opposite party (or the entire party in general). It could be a neighbor who just doesn’t get property lines or personal space or privacy. Maybe it’s an unresolved racial prejudice. Sadly, families even set up boundaries and take sides that create hostile (more cold-war like) situations where enemies are created. “Enemy” has a really rough connotation, but let’s just call it what it is.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to remain that way.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 5: 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
We were enemies of God. Separated by our sin. Yet, while we were still sinners. Before we shook hands and cleared the air, HE DIED FOR US. HE CAME FOR US FIRST. He loves us that much. Wow. Let that sink in. Let that idea roll around when you look at the enemies in your life. Before you speak or move, consider the option that you might move forward, toward them, with love. On purpose. Before they move. Before they change. We can change. We can, in our own small context, love like Jesus did. Build a bridge and a relationship. Isn’t that what we are called to do?
Jesus said it himself: Matthew 5:43-38 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
I have to admit, this has been something I have struggled with most of my life. I did my best not to treat my enemies (or people very different from me) with disrespect, but I mostly just kept my distance and didn’t engage. But, what if we saw our enemies as our brothers? as our sisters? How would that change things? What opportunity would that give us to share the gospel? For God to change and mold our hearts?
What we do have to lose? They’re already enemies.
And what do we have to gain? A restoration of a relationship. Healing. Love. Compassion. Less stress. More Jesus. The ultimate gift of salvation for someone else.
Definitely worth a shot. And the good news, Jesus will be walking with you the whole way.
VIDEO – Sing, pray, listen and let God speak to your heart.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Your undeserved love. For loving us before we loved You. For calling us your children, Your friends. Your grace is unending, Your mercy is overwhelming, You are our everything and You want us, desire us, choose us. Fill us with that same love. Help us to see others, neighbors, co-workers, family and even enemies as Yours. Created by You. Our brothers and sisters. Forgive us when we fail and fill us with Your Spirit of peace every day. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.