ScriptureJesus said, “ . . .the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56, NKJV

Christian Challenges
    It hath been said, “Don’t get mad - get even.” Ah!  Sweet revenge!  “Do unto others if they do it to you - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
    Jesus  spoke about retaliation in the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5:38, adding, in effect, ‘But if you follow My teaching, you won’t act like that.’ Rather, His disciples are to turn the other cheek and to love their enemies.
    Why? “That you may be (children) of your Father in heaven.” (Mt. 5:45)
    Think about that in terms of an earthly family. Parents are responsible for providing for their children’s welfare. Children are to be obedient, and are under the authority of a parent or guardian until the age of majority,  the age at which full civil rights are accorded.
    At what point in our Christian journey, then, do we grow up enough that we cease to be “children” of God?  Is there a time when we can presume to become independent of God, a time when we can literally ‘take over the business,’ and run things our own way?
    I bring up this point to invite you to consider how we should react to some of the challenges that we encounter as Christians. When people say bad things about Christianity, about religion in general, or take God’s name in vain, the urge to retaliate is very real.
    There have been periods in history where the overly zealous attempted to advance the cause of the church at the point of the sword. In essence, some have said, “If you don’t love God, I’ll kill you.
    My chosen scripture verse speaks to the point of treatment of those who reject The Christ. Jesus’ disciples wanted to command fire to come down from heaven and consume  those people (Samaritans) who did not receive Him. (Lk. 9:51-56)
        Jesus said, “No!
    If it is not the purpose of the Son of Man (Christ) to destroy such people, then what are we to do?
    We are to love God, and our neighbor as ourselves. Who is our neighbor?
    All people- for all  belong to God. That includes those we might consider to be enemies. “Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.(Mt. 5:44)
    Children of God are not in a position of greater authority to change that teaching. 
        When disciples  pray, “Your will be done” (Lord’s Prayer) Christians indicate  submission to the dominion and authority of God in their lives.
    (Quotations from the NKJV)

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