The world we live in today is nothing different than what took place fifty years, two hundred years, or even a thousand years ago. Constant friction of giving and taking away, choosing to love or hate, and growing your relationships or losing them.
Jesus proves that this will continue by reminding us to continue to "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44 ESV). There will be those who are easy to love because they love us back. Jesus brings up another group of people we need to deal with who might not be as easy and can actually be challenging to love.
The old memories of:
Your neighbor Fred who always bothered the peace in your neighborhood with loud music and parties;
The students back in middle school who bullied and made fun of you;
Defamation by your prior coworkers who guilted you in committing something you never did and hurting your future employment.
We can't avoid every hurting circumstance by those we want to label as "enemies" because of the pain they caused us. How about loving them? Even harder. Jesus helps us overcome such struggles by teaching us to love and pray for our enemies.
A few key points Jesus highlighted to help us:
Be Different - as a citizen of heaven, you are heavenly and should walk as a kingdom representative.
Remember God's Love - it was for you and extends to all creation - His love reminds us to extend it to those we love and those we might count as our enemies.
Pour Yourself Out - Jesus poured it all out for us and as the greatest example for our life, we must do as He did.
Remember, we cannot fulfill this commandment Jesus gave us without the Holy Spirit living inside of us. With the fullness of the Holy Spirit in us, He's capable of loving through us. The challenge isn't the Holy Spirit power at work but rather letting Him fully use us. How do we do it? Let go, yield, and be obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading. Love will pour out and light will shine into those who don't know Jesus. Through this, you will see souls saved and lives transformed.
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Together in the Harvest,
Founder | Kingdom Commission Ministries