From: Su Min
Subject: Love Thine Enemy
let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth. This then is how we know we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us (1 John 3:18-24).
Today we read Matt 5: 43-48. Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said, 'love your neighbour and hate your enemy', but I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."
Jesus teaches the spirit of the law that goes beyond the letter of the law. Loving those who love you is easy. Loving those who love you is natural. Even the tax collectors (the lowest of the low in those days) and the used car salesmen and insurance agents (our present day equivalent?) do that. A warm smile and a hello to those that belong to our innermost circle of friends: do not even pagans do that? Jesus sets a higher standard of interaction for the kingdom kids: Be perfect even as God our heavenly father is perfect Matt 5:48.
In the previous teaching Jesus teaches us to do good to those who do us evil. Now he teaches us to do good to them, even while they are not doing evil to us!
What a sense of peace and joy comes to us when we learn to love our enemies.
I feel especially blessed as I figure out I do not have any enemies. None that I know about, anyway. But I did feel that the anonymous letter writer who raised charges about wrongful spending in church was a sort of enemy of mine. I praise God that I am able to love this anonymous soul and pray lovingly for him/ her/ them. Yes indeed, blessed are you when you love your enemies.
The capacity to love your enemy is not a natural one. Some of us have been hurt by our enemies. We want revenge. We want to hit back. God wants us to behave differently. He wants us to love. He wants us to forgive. It requires strength of character to make that change of will, and Godly power to convert that change of heart into action. A minor miracle indeed. But such miracles are waiting to happen, if only you will let them.
Even as they nailed Him to the cross, Jesus loved His enemies, the men that were responsible for His crucifixion. "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34)."
Jesus says to you, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Be perfect even as our heavenly father is perfect." Jesus Himself has set the perfect example. He who has ears, let him hear.
Let us pray.
Thank you for forgiving us and accepting us as your children.
You have taught us perfect love, through your son Jesus Christ.
Father, help us live this perfect life with your perfect love.
Give us the ability to love our enemies.
Help us pray for those that persecute us.
In the lovely Name of Jesus.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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