“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.” Matthew 5:44
Unfortunately, we all have enemies. Let’s take a minute and consider who our enemies are today. A family member? A friend? Our spouse? A co-worker? A neighbor? President Trump? Have one in mind? Have two, three, four or twenty in mind? That’s good. Now before thinking of all the reasons why that person is your enemy, pray for them. Stop reading this right now and pray that God would rain down His blessings upon them and would give you a heart of compassion for them.
Why should we do this for our enemies? Because, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Love asks nothing in return, but seeks those who need it. And who needs our love more than those who are consumed with hatred and are utterly devoid of love? Who in other words deserves our love more than our enemy? Where is love more glorified than where she dwells in the midst of her enemies? For if we pray for them, we are taking their distress and poverty, their guilt and perdition upon ourselves, and pleading to God for them. We are doing for them what they cannot do for themselves. Every insult they utter only serves to bind us more closely to God and them. Their persecution of us only serves to bring them nearer to reconciliation with God and to further the triumphs of love.”
I strongly encourage all of you to join us this Sunday as we open Matthew 5:43-48 to discuss what has been called the climax of the Christian call - to love our enemies. No ordinary love can fulfill this call, only God’s “Extraordinary Love” flowing through us.
God bless you all and hope to see you there!