LOVE YOUR ENEMIES

October 9, 2021

I don't know about you, but this is one of the verses I struggle with.

OK, to be totally honest and transparent, I feel as though I all too often do a poor job of loving those who love me. It's not for lack of effort, to be sure. I just have a tendency to get focused on too many things, and therefore to forget some of the most important ones. I can get into "task mode" and get overly sharp and direct in my communication. I know God's got a lot of work left to do on me in this area. But I'm really focused on it, and working hard at it.

But those efforts are all focused upon loving those who love me, and working on loving them well. When it comes to LOVING MY ENEMIES-- yeah I don't do such a good job here. Actually, here is where my response is more "Marine" than "Man of God." I know in my head that my enemies need to meet Jesus. I know in my head that I have the absolute responsibility to pray for them and love them. Though my head and my heart are only about twelve inches apart, the response of my heart to God's command in this area is MILES AWAY from where it should be.

I had become internally enraged after hearing about a particularly heinous and vicious act recently perpetrated upon an innocent victim in Afghanistan. I made the comment to someone about how the animal that did it needed to meet Jesus. But BOTH of us knew I wasn't suggesting an evangelistic appeal to his heart, mind and soul. I made it clear that, given the option, I'd have preferred a large caliber projectile between the eyes. He needed to "meet Jesus" and I was willing to arrange the introduction. See, bishop's have battles, too !!!

I know that, when people like this man get truly and radically converted, the fruit is often as dramatic as their sin and violence was. From my years in the Holy Land I know of more than one Palestinian terrorist who has become a new creation in Christ. Their transformation from vile men controlled by anger and hatred into men who are now controlled by the Holy Spirit and lovers of God's people Israel is astounding to see. I've met and spoken to them. Men who've gone from building bombs in Bethlehem to leading Christian ministries in Jericho.

But the best example of loving your enemies is contained in today's verse --
GOD SHOWS HIS LOVE FOR US IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US

We were dead in our trespasses and sins. We were ENEMIES of God when He sent Jesus to die four our sins and offer us new life in Him.

THAT is selfless, sacrificial love.
THAT is truly loving those who have made themselves your enemy.

GOD SHOWS HIS LOVE FOR US IN THAT, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US

And then He calls us to live in that love, walk out that love. He calls us to be His hands and feet, His voice.

He commands us to go BE HIS LOVE.

He never said it would be easy. He said it would be worth it.

Choose Your Language »