Love Your Enemies • Devotion 3

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Pastor Ryan Story

The entire focal point of the Sermon on the Mount is meant to show those who are wishing to follow Jesus how to live. I am excited that we, as a church, are spending so much time reading the words of our Savior’s sermon. The reality is nothing Jesus ever taught was “culturally normal.” Everything Jesus ever taught was meant to push to that counter-cultural aspect of living. Thank God for that. Since Jesus spent so much time teaching what was necessary to be considered a citizen in Heaven, it would be a major letdown to get to Heaven and realize that His Kingdom operates the exact same as the earthly one we all reside in.

The section we will be looking at all week ought to challenge you. In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus teaches about loving your enemy. This is such a crazy thing to teach and I feel this truth transcends the 2000 years since it was spoken. To look at a person who you know hates you, a person who you know wishes ill upon you, and to know a person would rather leave you in a ditch rather than help you and to be told to love them could be classified as insanity.

While reading these verses, I got majorly convicted that as much as I would love to throw the martyr card down and say, “He hate me” (XFL reference for anyone who got that) and force myself into thinking there are those who are my enemies and it is all their issue. The reality is if I am not actively loving every person I encounter in the same way that Jesus loved me, how can I say I am not that person’s enemy? Jesus flipped the narrative in my heart. Jesus calls us to love our enemies because He wants us to show who we identify as our Lord. He calls us to love our enemies because it is the best way to show others His love, His mercy, His kindness, and His friendship.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:46, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Christ-followers who are reading this, take a second and ask yourself, “Are you only loving those around you who are easy to love, those who love you, encourage you, and help you?” That group is easy to love. However, we as followers of Christ, are aiming to bring glory to the name of Jesus by living as we belong to His eternal Kingdom. We love others because Jesus loved them. We do not make enemies of people, because God sent His Son to ensure we were not enemies of Him. Love those around you in the same way Jesus did. When we love like Jesus, we do not see enemies, we see opportunities to help a person not be an enemy of God. We as followers are not meant to go to war with people over petty things. Go love a person today in hopes that it brings the peace only Jesus’ love can bring.

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