[Jesus said] “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous . . . Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Love Like the Lord
Devotion based on Matthew 5:43-45,48
See series: Devotions
Sometimes the words of the Bible make you cringe. Sometimes they make you crinkle your brow in confusion. Sometimes they seem so wrong. Love your enemies? What a crazy concept! “Love the ex-spouse who hurt me? Love the co-worker who ruined my reputation? Love the family member who took advantage of me? No! I want to make them pay for what they did. I want to hurt them for the way they hurt me. It just makes more sense.”
It makes sense to my sinful nature. But it is not God’s nature. He sends blessings even on those who thumb their noses at him. He sacrificed his own Son to save those who sinned against him again and again—people like you and me. Our Father PERFECTLY loves us—although we have not perfectly loved others.
If we want to be like our Father in heaven then we will love even our enemies. We will forgive the spouse who hurt us. We will be kind to the co-worker who ruined our reputation. We will pray for the family member who took advantage of us. After all, they need love and forgiveness just like we do.
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for loving me perfectly. Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me when I was unlovable. Dear Holy Spirit, create in me a perfect love for others, even my enemies. Amen.