2 Samuel 10:1-19

2 Samuel 10:1-19

2 Samuel 10:2Vintage message from June 20, 1999.

How many times have we shown kindness…and how many times have we had someone step on that kindness? Spit in our face, throw it back at us, reject it, and make us feel like a piece of dirt for having shown the kindness… And you know what? It begins to build in us so we don’t want to show the kindness… We get to the place where we don’t want to trust anybody… We hide away from society because we don’t want to be hurt… What do you do when your neighbor just will not let it go? And I’m sure we’ve had people like that in our life that just would not let it go. They’ve gone out of their way to offend us, and when we don’t respond, they continue to go out of their way to offend us and to attack and to hurt us. And like I said, this doesn’t just happen between unbelievers and believers, but I see this happen within the church. I see where there’s a misunderstanding within the body where people, because of a misunderstanding, will attack one another and will continue a battle that does not need to be there. And the person that’s hurt or offended will continue to go after the person who was the offender; will build a scenario that makes it uncomfortable for everybody around them…

Jesus has told us, first and foremost, forgive. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Forgive those that offend you. That’s the hardest thing in the world to do. Forgive. You know, I’ve told many people to forgive those that offend you [and the] first question out of their mouth, “Don’t they have to ask forgiveness first?” No… While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us… He was the One that invented forgiveness. He didn’t wait for us to ask for it. He loved us, and He forgave us of whatever it was that we did, long before we even did it. So we can love. Because He first loved, we can love…

Jesus clearly tells us that we are to live by the two greatest commands: love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of mind, with all of your soul; the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself…The two hardest concepts for us to grasp and live as believers: love God and love our neighbors. And it seems like the harder we try to love our neighbor, the more trouble we find… We are in a battle… We don’t take the battle to our neighbor but we take the battle to our knees. We begin to pray for that neighbor who is angry with us, who’s misunderstood us, that may have taken something that we did with wrong intentions and then has started a battle with them. We take the battle to our knees. We say, “God, touch my neighbor. Show me how to love them…”

We need to be about forgiveness even when the world is attacking us, even when the world is angry at us… Let God fight the battle for you. Let the power of the Holy Spirit win the battle for you, and see people’s lives changed. That’s what we’re about.

Pastor Dave Elkins