Sunday Services: 10:30 AM
505 South Sixth St. Burbank, CA
FaithView, For Storm Riders:
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”—Matthew 5:44
Gross…This is a tough read. Especially for the guy (me) who has often said that the most exciting part of the Scriptures when growing up was Peter cutting off the ear of that dude in the garden.
I read that, and my first thought was, “Yes! Alright, somebody finally did something!”
The ensuing rebuke Jesus gave was less exciting…less motivating.
First—natural—inclination for all of us when it comes to loving and praying for our enemies is to say, that’s impossible. No way, how can you be expected to care for those who persecute you? I’d sooner cut off their ears.
Yet our faith is wrapped in, embedded with and all about the impossible being possible. Or is it without reason the Scripture says in Philippians, I can do everything through him who gives me strength…?
Does that Scripture apply when it comes to loving and praying for our enemies?
You might not like the answer but, yes, it does.
Does it mean we have to have warm fuzzies? No…There are a lot of people I love and don’t feel warm fuzzies for.
So in the practical, you have to recognize love is not merely an emotion. Love, of course, is action. The initial action being to avoid trading blow for blow with those you are in conflict with. Stop sparring, stop engaging in verbal, text or proxy arguments through other people. Consider your enemies spiritual disposition and pray for them.
You don’t have to pray to become best friends, but you can pray that the conflict will end. You can pray that good will happen their life. You can pray they have a right/reconciled relationship with the Lord.
Pray for yourself, pray that you can let go of the past. Pray for the Lord to take away the sting of an injustice or wrong done to you or a loved one.
Not easy at all…There’s a great industry within the body of the church these days that avoids forgiveness altogether and couches itself instead to the cause of Social Justice (Meaning (essentially): “Let’s get even.”)…But if our faith is in Christ, then it is possible, and if possible, then we have to forgive.
It is possible but not optional. We choose whether or not we’re going to forgive. We also choose whether or not we are going to obey the Scriptures—especially the one above. If we choose correctly, we stay in God’s will. If we choose selfishly, declaring that the power of Christ is limited, then we fall out of God’s will. We become disobedient.
If forgiveness and praying/loving our enemies was no big deal…we’d be a cult. Cults make things easy, cults make things feel good, but “…the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”—Hebrews 4:12
We lie if we say it isn’t hard…but we also lie when we tell ourselves it is impossible.
Paul is writing to the church in Philippi, he’s writing to Christians, he’s writing to people claiming a relationship with Christ…He’s writing to us 2,000 years down the timeline and saying, embrace the truth/word of God…And in particular, in this case, to love those who are unlovable and pray for those who would do us harm.
It’s not an option…It’s hard…But the one who died and rose for us makes it all possible.
A VBS Unlike Any Other:
You can sign up your child and their friends here on our website. Look the button up top, click, and follow.
Burbank Faith now has a Twitter account. You can follow us at; @BurbankFaithNaz
Eric Canto has created a Burbank Faith channel on YouTube and has placed all of our recent services there. Go check it out. (Click the pic)
VBS Goes to Rome: The theme for Vacation Bible School this year is “Rome: Paul & The Underground Church”
The dates are June 26-30…Look at your calendar…share with your friends…Pray for Seana Zilbert, who is directing…Make plans to volunteer.
July is Camps Month: Remember July is camps month…Junior High, High School & Kids will all have separate camps at Granite Ridge.
District Assembly is July 12-14
(It is one month later this year due to General Assembly (Indianapolis) being held June 21-30.)
SrHi Camp: July 16-21
Kids Camp: July 23-28
JrHi Camp: July 30-August 4
Did You Know?
On this date…
…In 1521, German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: “The authority of Scripture is greater than the comprehension of the whole of man’s reason.”
April 30: Sunday Service, 10:30 AM…Sunday evening “Prayer Hour” from 6-to-7:00 PM
May 1: “Riders On The Storm”—7:00 PM
May 2: Women’s Bible Study—7:00 PM
All Church Prayer Time: 7—to—7:30 PM
Worship Team Practices: 7:30 PM
Adult Bible Study—1 Samuel 18—7:30 PM
May 6: Men’s Breakfast at Harry’s, 8:00 AM
May 13: Ladies Tea
May 14: Mother’s Day
May 21: VBS planning meeting, following morning worship.
May 29: Memorial Day
June 26-30: VBS Week
As believers, we have to remain in continual prayer for all of our first responders…all our leaders…not a political party but for those carrying the heavy burden of leadership in our country and communities.