Daily Riches: Left Only With Neighbors (Preston Sprinkle, Oscar Romero, Martin Luther King)

“The church believes in only one violence, that of Christ, who was nailed to the cross.” Oscar Romero

“For early Christians, enemy-love was the hallmark of what it meant to believe in Jesus. …Unless you love your enemy, you actually don’t love your neighbor. …When Jesus talks about His suffering on the cross, He often commands His followers to do the same: ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ (Matt. 16: 24). Jesus suffers injustice on a Roman cross to die for sin, but He also intends it to be a nonviolent pattern for us to follow. When Jesus washes His disciples’ feet—even the feet of His betrayer—He tells His followers to do the same: ‘I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you’ (John 13: 15).  …Jesus rebukes James and John for their thirst for violent retaliation (Luke 9: 51– 56), encourages His followers to endure patiently when violently attacked (Mark 13: 9– 13), and disarms Peter when he violently resists evil by hacking off the ear of a man trying to arrest Jesus. ‘Put your sword back into its place,’ …Nonviolence is the astonishing rhythm of Christianity ….The Sermon on the Mount constitutes Jesus’s radical kingdom ethic. Heads will turn as we turn our cheeks. Our inexplicable behavior will call attention to our inexplicable God. Light will beam across our dark world as we love the spouses who don’t love us back, keep our word when it hurts, judge ourselves rather than others, and—most shockingly—love our enemies who are harming us. When we are cursed, we bless. When we are hated, we love. When we are robbed, we give. And when we are struck, we don’t strike back with violence. A person who chooses to love his or her enemies can have no enemies. That person is left only with neighbors.” Preston Sprinkle

“Negroes who engage in the demonstrations and who understand nonviolent philosophy will be able to face dogs and all of the other brutal methods that are used without retaliating with violence because they understand that one of the first principles of nonviolence is the willingness to be the recipient of violence while never inflicting violence upon another.” Martin Luther King

“For all who take the sword
will perish by the sword.”
Matthew 26: 52

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you think of nonviolence as “the astonishing rhythm of Christianity?” …as the way of Jesus?
  • Could you be “the recipient of violence” while refusing to inflict violence upon another?
  • Is enemy-love the “hallmark” of your Christianity?

Abba, grant me to have no enemies, only neighbors.

For More: Fight by Preston Sprinkle

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I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. Thanks! – Bill

Daily Riches: You Ain’t Nothin’ Without Love (Larry Norman, Katherine Ann Porter)

“You can be a Righteous Rocker or a Holy Roller
You can be most anything.
You can be a Child of the Son or a Skid Row Bum or
You can be an Earthly King.
But without love, you ain’t nothing, without love.

“You can be a Leon Russell
Or a super muscle
You can be a corporate king.
You can be a wealthy man from Texas
Or a witch with heavy hexes,
But without love, you ain’t nothing, without love.

“You  can be a brilliant surgeon
Or a sweet young virgin
Or a harlot out to sell.
You could learn to play the blues
Or be Howard Hughes
Or the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Or you could be a French provincial midwife
Or go from door to door with a death-knife,
But without love you ain’t nothing, without love. [selah]

“You can be a woman feeler
Or a baby stealer,
You can drink your life away.
You  can be a holy prophet
Get a blessing off it,
You can fast for fifty days.
You can shake hands with the devil
Or give your life to God on the level,
But without love you ain’t nothing, without love.
Without love you ain’t nothing, without love.”

Larry Norman, “Righteous Rocker” (#1 & 3)

“Love must be learned and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but waits only to be provoked.”  Katherine Anne Porter

“A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Jesus in John 13:34

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Isn’t it amazing, the bad things we settle for (like in the song), preferring them to giving and receiving love?
  • Isn’t it amazing, the good things we rely upon, thinking they will compensate for our not investing ourselves in love?
  • Love might seem like the easiest thing – but no, that’s hate. In reality love is hard. It must “be learned and learned again and again: there is no end to it.” (to the learning) What are you doing to improve at loving?

Abba, love my enemies? I don’t even love my friends as I should. I don’t even love my family as I should. Father, as your love seeks me, as you draw near, as I draw near to you, may I learn again and again to love.

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”