June 30, 2022

Rhonda Patterson
“If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.”
Psalm 139:19-22

While we know that globally there are regions where it’s very dangerous to be a Christian, we can be thankful that in America we don’t face the type of persecution that David speaks of in the above passage. That said, we seem to hear an increasing angry roar from those here who walk in darkness and at times there seems to be an escalating hatred for followers of Christ. It is so imperative that we choose to not take offense, remembering that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against powers, principalities and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

In Matthew 24:10, Jesus, speaking about signs of the end of the age, tells us that “many will fall away from the faith and betray and hate one another.” And in verse 12 he says that, “Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Our love does not grow cold overnight. It happens over time, experiences and offenses that we’ve failed to bring before the Lord for healing and forgiveness.

To walk with a pure, kind, merciful heart requires surrender. It requires diligence in rejecting the temptation to nurse an offense, rather choosing the way of Christ’s love, “so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” Philippians 2:15

Oh God – help us to guard against the stronghold of cold love. Give us a pure, warm heart saturated in your love, that we may see how high, how wide and how deep is the love of Christ, and be filled with all the fullness of God.