Friday, January 24, 2014

Love Your Enemies

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

The above scriptures are probably some of the hardest to be lived out in the daily life of a disciple of Christ. How many professing Christians are actually DOING what Jesus commanded here? How many are loving their enemies? How many are doing good to those who hate them? It's a very hard teaching when you consider that every single day (if you are a true Spirit-filled disciple of Jesus) you will face persecution and hatred from those who oppose Christ in you.

And if you are not experiencing persecution, hatred, dislike, and cursing in various forms every day, then you should question whether or not you are really in the faith!

Paul said this to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:10-12

"But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."

If you are not walking by the Spirit, sowing to please the Spirit, and bearing the fruits of the Spirit in your heart, then it will be absolutely impossible to truly love your enemies the way that Jesus did. And we are called to walk as He walked, and to be conformed into His image in the inner man. Loving your enemies, and fulfilling the commands of Jesus will not be possible without the Spirit of God working in us and through us to accomplish the work of God on the face of this earth.

So the next time you are slandered at work, or called a name for being a Christian and standing for truth, even being physically assaulted for your faith, as many are being tortured and killed for the name of Jesus through out the world. Remember the words of Jesus, 'love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you'. Jesus called the one who partakes of such persecutions, blessed!

Luke 6:20-23

"Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets."

In Jesus,

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