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Love Who?!


How Do I Love My Enemy?

  • I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend. ~ Abraham Lincoln
  • Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.  ~ Nelson Mandela
    • If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22

Please click on the links below and read before going any further:

The news articles above leave me speechless.  Another one that I remember hearing, but couldn’t find reference to on the net went like this.  Parents of a child who was murdered forgive murderer…spend time with him weekly…pray for him…say that want to treat and spend time with him as though he was their own son.  Yes.  The news story was saying that the parents considered this enemy of theirs as their own…and he felt the same way after a time of healing.

Can you imagine?  Jesus asks us to love our enemies.  Let’s break this down.  Love in the Bible is not shown as a feeling…it is shown through action.  Jesus’ love for his creation was shown through His miracles.   Do you also remember His encounters with the woman at the well?  How about when He asked Zaccheus for lunch?  How about when He washed His disciples’ feet?  Jesus’ love for us was delivered through the cross and empty grave.  James writes that we should take care of orphans and widows to show are love for God…our pure religion (James 1:27).  James also writes that our faith, without works, is dead (James 2:14-26).  Love is not something you simply have for someone…proof of love is in what you do for them.  Jesus asks us to love our enemies.  Since it’s not a feeling…what does that look like?

Last week we looked at being nice to people who are against us…this week Jesus just continues this theme.  Not only should we be amicable, beyond the norm, to those who want or take from us, but now we are being asked to have a completely different attitude towards those that think evil towards us.  Did God ask any less of Jesus himself?  No.  While on the cross, Jesus forgave the men who drove the nails into His hands (Luke 23:34).  Last week we looked at how we should be meek, having a quiet strength, when taken advantage of.  This week we’re looking at the intentional, forward looking, proactive stance we should have for those we know are against us.

Jesus has a way of going deeper though.  He asks us to love our enemies.  If they need something, do something good for them.  But not only that.  We’re asked to think about them even when they’re not doing anything against us.  We’re to pray for them.  Personally, I don’t want to think about people who don’t like me.  I’d like to forget about them.  Jesus didn’t forget about His enemies though.  He died for them…and continues to work through His body, the church, to bring them over from the dark side.  Oh wait…we’re the church.  Ahhh…so now it’s making more sense.

We are to love our enemies because Jesus already died for them…and He needs us to show them His love.  They might know about His historical death on the cross…but maybe haven’t seen His love in action.  We’re His hands and feet.

As I’ve said before, it’s a Kingdom thing.  We’re acting and reacting on the King’s behalf.  We’re suppose to look like Him…behave like Him…pray like Him…love like Him.  Verse 42 of our section of scripture confirms this.  We are to be Holy like God is.  No.  We’re not perfect.  But even though we’re not, we’re still asked to act like Him who is making us perfect.  Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”  Do your actions show this process of being made holy?  This question can only be answered by you and your Savior.

Questions For Leaders:

  • Do you have any enemies?  If so, who?  Be specific if you can.
  • Now that you’ve named a few, what will you do for them this week?
  • I know…that last question might have been a bit forward…Jesus was forward too.
  • Remember, without intentional thought and proactive planning, our ‘Love our Enemies Actions’ will never take place.  Jesus doesn’t say for us to react to them, He asks us to pray for them.
  • Does Jesus really think we can do this stuff?  Why?
  • Why do we hesitate?  What will get us past this hesitation?
  • In the context of this lesson, what does this verse really mean?  Romans 8:31 (NIV) “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

love-serve-spread the Word,

ed

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