Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: Luke 6:27-36
Key Verse: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.” Luke 6:27
I once read a beautiful saying on what forgiveness should be. It went like this: “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that crushed it.”
The Bible tells us, “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21, 22).
While this is a profound biblical concept, it’s not often we see it in action. However, I recently came upon just such a story.
I happened to be in Southeast Asia, working with ASAP Ministries, and we were interviewing their Bible workers and church planters. That’s when I met Phil* (name changed to protect privacy, as he’s from a closed country).
Not long before, Phil had been in a motorcycle accident. Interestingly, when the accident happened, he and his motorcycle were sitting still. That’s right. He was actually hit by another moving cyclist. Thankfully, he was not injured, although both motorcycles were damaged. The person who hit him happened to be the head chief from a neighboring village, and he was drunk at the time.
Phil could have been very angry and demanded the chief pay for damages, but instead he asked the chief, “What can I do for you?” “Fix my motorcycle and pay me such and such amount of money for damages!” he was told rudely by the chief.
Without argument, Phil paid the amount requested. But he didn’t stop there. In addition, he went to visit the chief and started seeking ways he could help him and his family, even to going out and plowing his field. Phil was so kind and did so many things for this chief and his family that the people in the village could not believe it.
“Our chief is a very rude and mean man!” they told Phil. “Why are you doing these nice things for him? No one ever manages to be friends with him!” They were astounded.
As a result of these “coals of fire heaped upon the chief’s head,” Phil was eventually invited to teach people in the village about Jesus. This was a village that he’d been trying to reach for some time, but unsuccessfully. Now God was opening the doors.
In fact, he shared with me through his translator that he is already doing Bible studies with some villagers, and some are already preparing for baptism. Just think—if he had reacted to the accident the way most of us would have, fighting for our rights and for recompense, he would never have been able to reach this village.
The Bible tells us, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves . . . for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:19-21.)
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Lord, as we continue praying for our church, we pray that You’d give us love and forgiveness toward one another and toward those who have wounded our pride, our hearts, and maybe even our bodies. It’s not easy to forgive and act in love toward those who hurt us, but please teach us what it means to truly forgive as You have forgiven us. And teach us what it means to go the extra mile in love, even if there is no visible reward immediately, and even if someone spits in our face. We spat in Your face when we crucified You, and You still loved and forgave us, so help us to do as You have done, knowing that our reward will come in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.