What Do We Do with the Haters?

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S (Scripture): [Peter, John, and other disciples pray to God after Peter and John’s release from prison]:

Acts 4:27 “Indeed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with Gentiles and Israelites, did gather in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and plan had already determined would happen. 29 Now, Lord, take note of their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with complete confidence. 30 Stretch out your hand to bring healing and enable signs and wonders to be performed through the name of Jesus, your holy servant.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking God’s word with confidence.

O (Observation): A mighty show of God’s glory and grace. Instead of showing anger and might over and against God’s enemies, the disciples follow Jesus’ example of pouring out grace and mercy to prove God’s love for all people. The disciples have learned that shining light in dark places is the pathway, rather than trying to knock others down or get angry proving God is sovereign.

And this work is not done because someone was holy enough or did enough to please God; rather, the disciples simply opened their hearts and minds to allowing God’s Spirit to work in and through them.

A (Application): Martin Luther King Jr’s quote rings loud and clear again: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

The disciples exemplify this mantra, and you and I are called to do the same. We have enough hatred and anger in this world. We need healing, not retribution.

My suggestion: read this text…read all of Acts of the Apostles, and see what those early disciples did. They weren’t perfect, but God did works through them. And we also are part of God’s unfolding story.

Where will you shine light and love this day?

P (Prayer): Lord, help us to love ourselves the way you love us. Open our hearts and minds to sharing love and light this day. Amen.

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