Love Your Enemies – A Commandment of God

 

Our merciful and compassionate God of love gave me a revelation through Luke 6:27-36 as to how we should conduct ourselves.  I now humbly share it with you.  As I am typing this, I am also being reminded that this revelation applies to me personally as well as to all His children.

I truly believe it is the perfect will of God in His ministering to us, to build-up righteous, pure and holy people for His church and prepare His church for His Kingdom.  I believe it is an especially important message for us, in these times.

This is the Word which Jesus spoke to His disciples in Luke 6: 27-36, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.  And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.  If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.  But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

The essence of the Christian faith is love; the general principle being in v31: “as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Love is also the guiding principle in all Christian relationships; not only toward fellow believers, but also toward our enemies.  Love is demonstrated by our response to personal insult and injustice: not with retaliation or even passive endurance, but with sincere acts of goodness, designed to redeem the offenders.  This revelation is not just a teaching from the Lord, it is also His commandment to us.

Do we hear Him?  Will we listen?  Are we abiding in Him?  In v1, when Jesus says “But I say to you who hear …… ,  In Luke 8:8 He called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” and again in Luke 8:18, “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”  In Mark 4:24, the Lord says: Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”

In the prayer in which Jesus taught His disciples (us) how to pray to our Father in Heaven, we are told to pray: “Forgive us our sins AS we forgive those who sin against us” (Luke 11:4).  In Luke 23:34, it is out of the love of our merciful and compassionate God that Jesus prayed to our Heavenly Father: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”  And they cast lots to divide his garments.”

Here, the Lord intercedes for His persecutors, His transgressors, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12 which reads:  “Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”  Because of His love for all creation; God humbled himself to become a man.  Jesus went through all the tests, the trials, the pains, the humility and was obedient to the point of death; to fulfill the will of the Father, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, and therefore, He is extolled to glory.

The Lord taught us to be merciful to others, as He is merciful to us.  Exodus 23:4-5 says: “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.  If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.” This is mercy and grace in the widest interpretation of the words, which is demonstrated here.

In his song to the Lord, King David, as he called upon the Lord for mercy and his rescue and delivery from his enemy, said in Psalm 7:4-5 “if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust.”

King David also taught us to stay away from wickedness, when he said in Proverbs 24:17: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles.”

King Solomon shared his wisdom of love with us in Proverbs 25:21-22, saying: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”

The Lord spoke very clearly in Matthew 5:43-45, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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.”

The apostle, Peter, pointed out in Acts 10:37-38 that “you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.  He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

In Romans 12:17-21, the apostle Paul admonishes us to: “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.  To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

In the Third Epistle of John 1:11, the message is again reinforced: “Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.  Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”

 

Let us be encouraged and remain faithful to our God of grace and mercy, our source of strength, hope and life.  Let us remain righteous and holy in our attitude and conduct, knowing that the Lord is with us and by the power of the Holy Spirit, empowers us in our circumstances and gives us wisdom and guidance.  Let us also remember the promise of God which sets us free.  As Matthew 6:14-15 reads: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Amen and Amen!

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