Monday, May 15, 2006

Who Do You Love?

In a recent discussion, I talked with some friends about how we are to serve one another. We all agreed that is was easier to serve people that had already done nice things for us. Sort of a, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours approach.

Our conversation turned, though, because Jesus calls us to do more than just repayment when we serve other people. Jesus says His followers should serve people that would consider them their enemies.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate
your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who
persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is 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. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward
do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you
greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even
the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your
heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)

This is not so easy. In fact, it is not something that I naturally do not want to do. In fact, it can only happen by the work of God the Holy Spirit in my life to help me to love this way.

How can you grow to love this way? Why not start here…identify your “enemies”. That probably won’t take very long. Now, pray for them. Ask God to help them. Ask God to cause them to grow in their faith and dependence upon Him. Ask God for opportunities to love them and encourage them in the truth.

You see, Jesus is after more than just our lip-service toward our enemies. He is calling His followers to actually care about those that would be called their enemies. He did this for us. Paul says in the book of Romans that before we became Christians, we were enemies of God. And, that while we were His enemies He loved us.

Ask God to help you be made more into the image of Christ by serving your friends…and your foes.

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