Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Commands of Jesus: Love Your Enemies

This is a tough one. How do we love someone we don't even like? Am I supposed to love the guy down the block who kicks his dog when he gets home from work? Am I supposed to love ISIS who cuts the heads off my brothers and sisters overseas? Am I supposed to love someone who kills a little baby in its mother's womb? Am I supposed to love someone who tells me that Jesus is a myth and my faith is useless?


There are no if's, and's or but's about this command from Jesus. "Love your enemies" seems simple enough to understand. So how do we do that? How do we love someone who trashes our God or cuts someone's head off? Good question. But, as always, God provides all the answers we need, right there in the Bible.

Most of us know who our enemies are. Yet, I have seen people change. How can someone who was once my enemy change? How does that happen? How do they get changed? I myself have changed. But how?

Look at World War II. Our two main enemies in that war were Germany and Japan. Today our nations are all friends. At one point in world history we were fighting each other, killing each other, torturing each other. Yet we changed.

I came across a video on Facebook recently that speaks to this topic about loving our enemies. Please watch it with me.

Compassion Is True Communication

It is difficult to watch that video and not be moved . . . not to have a tear come to our eyes, witnessing the power of compassion, mercy and grace given between two people whose countries were at war with each other . . . between two people who were supposed to be enemies. But the thing that changes us, the thing that does the changing, is love. Compassion? Yes. Mercy? Yes. Grace? Yes. All those things begin with love. Love for one another.

When Jesus died on the cross He had been tortured, beaten and spit upon. His disciples had abandoned Him and He was left there to die, basically alone. Only His mother and his two best friends stood and watched. He went to that cross willingly, for HIS enemies. Do you remember His words from the cross?

"Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." - Luke 23:34

Do you have any enemies? How will you show compassion to them today? Or will you leave them alone and discover that WE are our own enemy? Love someone today. We are supposed to act like Jesus in our encounters with others. Try it. You will find that loving others, as Christ loves the church, is fulfilling, joyful, satisfying and TOTALLY within the will of God. And that is exactly where we are supposed to be.

I Am Second - Chris Plekenpol

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