Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? – Abraham Lincoln

Jesus has a very specific directive regarding our treatment of those who have wronged us or mistreated us. He says we are to love them. That’s not easy. In fact, it would be easier to ignore them, and maybe easier yet to tell them off at every given opportunity.

But love our enemies? How?

Well, Jesus has some ideas. He says, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them”  - (Luke 6:27-29).

Before we look at how we’re supposed to treat our enemies, let’s look at how our enemies might treat us. In this list, Jesus defines the actions of an enemy:

  • “Hate” implies active ill will in words and conduct. It’s a persecutor’s spirit.
  • “Curse” means to wish evil and ruin on someone.
  • “Mistreat” means to insult and to spite.
  • To slap someone is to cause physical hurt or pain.
  • To take a coat is to steal someone’s property. This property can be physical or intellectual, right?

What an amazing little picture of how our enemies treat us. They will have ill will toward us, wish evil upon us, insult us, hurt us, and steal from us.

And Jesus wants us to love them (Luke 6:27). Not ignore them or tell them off, but love them.

Love them by doing good. Love them by blessing them. Love them by praying for them. Love them by showing gentleness. Love them by showing generosity.

  
It’s beautiful, but it also seems impossible. What do we do when something seems impossible? The way I see it, we have two choices: We can ignore Jesus. Or we can initiate a conversation with God who happens to specialize in making the impossible possible, and then trust Him to do it through us…
  
Lord, lead me in the dance of surrender this week toward someone who’s treated me badly – so I will bless a difficult someone, whether in conversation or action. Give me words to pray for those I’d rather forget. Relax my fists and give me an open hand, so I’ll be both generous and gentle with my enemies. Amen.

Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth exists to make available sound biblical teaching, practically applied, with a view to producing lives that glorify God and draw people to Christ. The whole of our ministry is to encourage, console, strengthen, teach, and train.

About Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Stuart Briscoe uses wit and intellect to target your heart, capture your attention and challenge you to grow! You will find his logic compelling as he brings a fresh, practical perspective to the Scriptures. Born in England, Stuart left a career in banking to enter the ministry full time. He has written more than 50 books, received three honorary doctorates and preached in more than one hundred countries. He was senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for thirty years, and currently serves as minister-at-large.

Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.

She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.

Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.

Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.

Pete Briscoe, youngest son of Stuart and Jill, was also born in England but grew up under his father's ministry in Milwaukee. While getting his Masters of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, Pete had a professor tell him that it was "a sin to bore people with the Bible." He has taken that to heart as he has served since 1992 as senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Pete and his wife, Libby, have three children.

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