The scripture for today, February 20 (2/20), is Galatians 2:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
The apostle Paul wrote this. He had been an angry, spiteful, and hateful man in his younger days. He had been a terrorist and had even declared holy jihad against Christians. He had gone around the country rounding up Christians, torturing them to get them to renounce Jesus, then sending them either to prison or to their death. He hated Christians.
But once Jesus got his attention and Paul realized he was persecuting those who could tell him the true way to heaven, he switched sides. Jesus had to do it himself because all the Christians were afraid of him. Then Paul, so to speak, crucified his old self, and let Jesus and his words live in him instead. All the tremendous energy that he had used for hate was now used for love, and he turned his part of the world upside down for Christ.
Is there someone in your life or that you know of who is angry, spiteful, and hateful? Dare to talk to that person and tell them how much God loves them. S/he will argue with you and maybe even be meaner to you than ever. But when things calm down, try saying something else, perhaps about what Jesus did or said once in his life.
It may take you months or years. S/he will be curious why you keep coming back when s/he is being so mean to you. And eventually, this same person who uses all his enormous energy in a negative way, just might turn that same enormous energy around and use it for Jesus in a great way.
Give it a try. If you are crucified with Christ, then nothing anyone says can hurt you because your ego is dead. Keep trying to reach this enemy of Jesus. Keep trying to help this person become Jesus’ friend and defender.
You may be the only one in his or her world with the courage to do it. Keep trying. Cry in private after the insults, then take a deep breath and try once again. And once again. And again. Never stop. Who knows?
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