Are They Your Enemies if You Love Them?
– Matthew 5:43-45
I think Jesus was presenting a greater truth here than just to love our enemies. O, yes, we are being told to love our enemies, but just what does that mean? If we are praying for them and we love them, even as we are to love our neighbor, can they really be our enemy?
Jesus gave what he called a new command when he told the disciples to love one another. He told them to love one another as he had loved them and that love would be the mark by which the world would know that they were true disciples of Christ (John 13:34-35).
If we are to love one another as Christ loves us, and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, and we are to love our enemies and those who persecute us, then where is there room to despise or hate anyone?
The overriding principle here is that we are to have a heart of love for all people at all times. How can we do that? We can’t! At least we can’t in our natural person, but we are not called to be like the natural people around us. We are called to live in the supernatural realm of the Spirit of God. We are called to love the world even as Christ loved the world.
Jesus seemed to be making this a litmus test for being a son of the Father. He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your father.” Could it really be true that the Father is saying we must love our enemies, and those who persecute us if we are to be his sons? It certainly looks that way.
How do we love our enemies? We start by praying a lot. There is a term we used in years gone by that is applicable here. It is simply this; we need to pray through over it. What does that mean? It means we pray over the issue until we have the peace of God about it and we can then live it out.
You have been misused and persecuted by others and so have I, but we don’t have the right to carry hard feelings about that if we are going to be a child of God. We’ve got to take it to the cross and pray through over it so we can once again love our enemy.
Prayer: Lord, immerse me in your love so I can love my enemies.
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