Listen:  133.6

Let’s look at Luke 6:27-30 to get the context of this passage. It says, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other: and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.”  This passage is part of the well-known “Sermon on the Mount” where the Lord Jesus was telling believers how we are to live before a world that has rejected God, and that hates His Son and all those who follow Him.  In short, we are called upon to show the world the same love and grace that the Lord Jesus did when He was here.  This love that we are to display is “unconditional,” meaning that it’s not based on merit or the worthiness in the object of love. It’s also “supernatural,” for there is no way we could manifest this love in the ways described by our own power; it must be God’s love being displayed through us.

Let’s muse on what God’s LOVE can enable us to do:

*Do GOOD to them that HATE us. This means to actively “show kindness” to those who are “unkind” to us.

*BLESS them that CURSE us. We are to “wish blessings” upon them who “wish us evil.”

*PRAY for them who DESPITEFULLY USE us. We are “intercede for them before God” while they are “using us” for their own selfish purposes.

*TURN THE OTHER CHEEK after being HIT. We are to literally allow our enemies to “hit us again” instead of trying to get revenge.

*GIVE YOUR COAT to those who take your CLOKE. We are to be willing to “give our property” to our enemies who “rob us.”

*GIVE to every man who ASKETH. We are to be ready to “give” to all who are in “need” if we have the means to do so.

*Do not ASK for that which has been TAKEN. We should “not seek to regain” that which our enemies have “taken from us.”

All of these verses have a common theme; they are teaching us what we can expect from a world of unsaved sinners who hate us, and they are teaching us what our reaction should be. The inquirer asked specifically about the latter part of verse 30 which says, “of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.” Just as we saw that men will “hate us,” “curse us,” “despitefully use us,” “hit us,” and “rob us,” we can expect men to “take property from us,” by unlawful means. How do we react if men, while persecuting us for our faith, take something from us illegally?  If our hearts are focused on our property, we’ll react selfishly by trying to get it back. But if our hearts are focused on showing them the love and grace of God, we will simply “let it go.” By doing so, we are showing them that material things aren’t what really matter; it’s the LOVE OF GOD that matters and the salvation of their souls!

Let me ask, “What’s the greatest thing our enemy can take from us?” Let’s look at Acts 7:54-60 to answer that question.  In this chapter Stephen had just preached the truth of God to his enemies and what did they do?  Verses 54 and 56-59a tell us, “When they heard these things they gnashed on him with their teethThen they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him.” They hated Stephen and were taking the greatest thing Stephen owned…his LIFE! How did Stephen react? Verse 60 gives us the answer, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Amazing reaction, wouldn’t you say?  With his very last breath Stephen did what we have been musing on.  He LOVED his enemies by PRAYING for them to be BLESSED (with God’s forgiveness). He DIDN’T HIDE HIS CHEEKS from the stones that were being hurled at him. He DIDN’T ASK FOR HIS LIFE to be spared, but was willing to “let it go.” He died showing the world the love and grace of God!

How was he able to do this? The answer is simple and beautiful, and it’s what you and I need too if we’re going to show a Christ-rejecting world the love of God. The answer is in verse 55 which says, “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stefastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”  Stephen was yielded to the Spirit of God and the Spirit gave him a view of God’s glory and Jesus Christ on His right hand!  This, dear believer, is exactly what we need…we need to be filled with the Spirit AND we need our eyes to be on Christ in the glory. Then, and only then, will we be given the ability to display God’s love to our enemies.  (133.6)  (DO)