Love Your Enemies

📖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.

Matthew 5:44-45 NKJV

Can we really love our enemies and does God expects us to?

The truth is that if we are born of God we can, should and must do so. This is a manifestation or proof that we are sons/children of our Father in heaven.

Because God is love and love is the divine nature we have been given (1 Peter 1:4), we will feel convicted of sin when love is not flowing freely from our hearts. We will also miss the peace of God filling our hearts until we decide to clear our hearts of the clog of offenses and unforgiveness; that is stopping the flow of love.

If we are honest with ourselves we will see that it is more difficult to override the Holy Spirit by holding on to grieviances than it is to just release the hate and bitterness we sometimes choose to entertain.

It is therefore no wonder that we get so miserable and sometimes depressed and upset when we refuse to love as God requires us to. This is because we are working against our love nature.

Let us also consider that when we forgive and choose to love our enemies we will begin to feel both the passion and compassion of God for them. That is the power of God and it is liberating!

However, we can never experience this while we hate someone.

Why does God require us to love our enemies?

- Love is who we are and what we do as children of God.

- Loving our enemies keeps our hearts free from bitterness, anger, malice and strife.

- Loving our enemies is also one way in which our prayers are effectual in helping them to experience God's love and forgiveness through us. This is not optional. It is a mandate.

- Love reveals and releases the Kingdom of God to those in our spheres of Influence.

- God also requires that we not only forgive but also be kind to our enemies.

📖But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Luke 6:35 NKJV

The truth is while we were evil and unthankful enemies of God He died for us. He continues to reach out to our enemies through us. One way He does this is by asking us to do good and lend, not hoping for anything in return; so, if they never return it we are not offended but they can still experience God's love through us.

Over the years, we have been required by God to not only forgive persons who offended us but by the instruction of the Holy Spirit cancel debts that were owed to us.

This released the love of God to flow from our hearts which we saw God use to direct their hearts to Him. The lesson we learnt was loving our enemies releases and benefits both us and our enemies and glorifies God.

We must always be mindful that it takes a pure heart filled with the love of God to bless, do good and pray for those that spitefully use and persecute us.

Scripture In Focus

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

I Corinthians 13:4 NKJV

Reflect and Respond

Is there someone who wronged you that you need to choose to forgive and pray for today?

Is there someone you have wronged and need to humble yourself and seek forgiveness today?

Is there a debt you need to forgive today?

Do you have the nature of God that is needed to be able to consistently love your enemies?

Whatever it is God wants His love flowing from your heart. What is your response to Him?

Andrew and Donnette Norman

- Founders and Presidents of Passion and Purity

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