Meditations by John Dean

Monday, June 1, 2015

Coals of Fire

(Romans 12:20 KJV)  Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him. If he thirsts, give him drink. For in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.

The point of this scripture is to teach us to show kindness to others regardless of their treatment toward us. Some may actually interpret the “B” part of this verse as a way of getting revenge, but nothing could be further from the truth. In other words this scripture has nothing to do with our wounds. It has to do with our kindness.

The last part of this verse makes it clear that because of our kindness our enemy will come under conviction. Our text describes it as  “heaping coals of fire on their head.” In other words, by showing kindness toward our enemy his conscience will be stung with a sense of injuries that he has done to his benefactor and therefore he will be filled with conviction.

It is not always easy to do exactly what this scripture says because rarely do we forget those who have harmed us, even though we may have forgiven them. This is particularly true when they continue to hurt us. You might say that it is impossible without the help of the Lord, since all righteousness comes from Him.

I have had the opportunity to practice this scripture over the years and I must confess that there were times when my heart my was not always in it. However, it is important to be obedient to God regardless of our feelings. I suppose if we waited until we felt right we would probably never bless our enemy.

Many years ago as a young evangelist, I usually bought my gas at a local Texaco service station near my home. One of the men who worked there was a very mean spirited man even though his wife was a fine Christian lady and she went to the church I attended. This man did not like Christians at all and therefore every time I drove in to fill my car up with gas he would always say something mean and derogatory to me. This went on for several months even though I was kind and soft spoken to him.

After praying for this man for months and asking the Lord how I was supposed to break through his hard shell…the Lord finally gave me the answer. His answer was… as He had given up all to show His love for me…that if I really wanted to reach this man then I too must be willing to do the same thing in order to show the Lord’s love to him.

The only thing I had of real value to give up was some money I had been saving. Reaching this man for the Lord was very important to me so I gathered up all my money and drove down to the Texaco service station and called this man out to my car. He walked out and said, “What do you want?”

I handed him all my money and he said, “What is this for?” I replied by gently saying, “As I was praying for you I believe the Lord told me that you needed this money and He asked me to bring it to you because He really loves you.”

The man was speechless and the hard shell was forever broken because that day he met the Lord of love for the first time. His continence and mannerism would forever be changed as he came face to face with the Lord of love…the one that his wife had been serving all along and now the two of them would finally serve their Lord together.

We now know that servanthood is not based on the character of the one being served but on Your love. Help us to understand and practice the purest way of evangelism…by showing Your love.


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