Love your Enemies
Daily Devotional for April 4th
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:43-44
Our world suffers from a lack of genuine love and affection. Most of us question how parents can abuse or forsake their children or even mistreat elders. We see moms and dads running headlong into drugs and alcohol while in the meantime their helpless children are starving or neglected. Our world is so full of hatred and selfishness that there has never been a better time for God’s people to show forth the love of our Heavenly Father.
We turn on the news and wonder how someone can go into a city and blow up themselves as well as everyone else around them in the name of religion. This could not be any further from the ways of God. Jesus came to show forth something the world so desperately needed; love. The world didn’t need just any kind of love, it needed the love of God. God saved you to show forth His love to a lost world.
Out of all the things Jesus taught the disciples and us, these are the hardest to fulfill. It’s easy to love those who love us, but when people have wronged you, love is not the natural reaction. This is why Jesus gave forth love as a commandment. Love is not an option. How do we love those who hate us? We do this by releasing ourselves from the equation. This is a type of love that requires God. It cannot be generated by mankind.
Hatred is the response we give that reveals our vengeance on a person. If we do not love, it is a sign that the love of self is greater than the love of others. It also reveals that self is greater than our love for God. Sometimes our only motivation for loving our enemies is because we want to obey the Lord. It takes a genuine heart change to love those who hate you, but it is God’s way. If your love is limited to only those who love you, then the love of God is absent. God’s love is shown in spite of everything.
Could it be that our enemies are still lost without God simply because we have chosen to show our affection for them instead of God’s affection? Friend, it is love that turns away wrath. It is love that stops the traffic of hatred. The love of God diffuses the anger of the world. Love is strong as death. (Song of Solomon 8:6) Have you truly been forgiven of your sin? Has God truly erased your wicked past? If so, how can we not show forth the same love when we have been forgiven of so much?