Loving people the Jesus Way can be tough. We won’t feel like it at the time, which is why we practice, practice, practice.
3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests [teaches, and purifies] the heart.
Yesterday, we began a study of Romans 12:9-21 and covered verses 9-13. Today, we will look at 14-18. In these verses, Paul said the same thing three different ways,
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
The three ways:
- Bless those who persecute you.
- Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
- Live at peace with everyone.
These three commands describe how we are to love our enemy. Jesus’ command to do so has a promise with it:
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:44-45
The promise is that we will be like our heavenly Father. More than that, we will be His children! What it boils down to is this:
- IF we believe that God is the Father of all mankind, and
- IF He loves everyone and can use any circumstance to demonstrate His love to lost souls, and
- IF we give ourselves over to Him to be His witnesses to a lost world no matter what,
- THEN we are doing what Jesus said to do, which is to love our enemies.
Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone loves me,’ Jesus replied, ‘they will keep my word. My father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23). When it comes to doing His will, He Himself comes as God the Spirit (of Jesus) to empower us and to guide us as we go. When that happens, we enter into a special relationship in which Jesus tells us to call Him, “Abba,” which is “Daddy” in Aramaic.
Tomorrow, we will deal with revenge and its opposite approach.
Abba, You are so gracious and kind. I want to reflect Your attributes. Please shine through me to others. Whatever circumstances I am in, may I be a true and faithful witness for You, with You. Amen.