Memorize: Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:43 & 44
Devotional Reading: Matthew 5:1-48
Many people have argued that this is an extremely difficult command. Many would go as far as to saying that it just isn’t possible to move out into the actual practice of this glorious command. They would go on to say that it is extreme and far from being practical. However, when you look at it, this command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilisation, love even for enemies.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness” only light can do that; “Hate cannot drive out hate” only love can do that.
True love is what we need in our world today; love that can forgive all offences, errors, wrong judgements, opinions and even our enemies who despitefully use us and persecute us.
Someone once asked me, and said – ‘pastor, is it really possible to love our enemies? Those who hate us and wish us bad without any just cause? I answered and said “yes, it is possible to love our enemies, even when they hate us and have done us wrong, we must still love them for the sake of Christ and our eternity.
I understand and accept that it can sometimes be very difficult, especially when the pain they inflicted was so severe. Our human emotions want us
to resent our enemies but we must pray for the grace of God to help us in such situations. Most times, their evil acts against us are propelled by “Satan” the evil man behind the scene. If we are not careful, we will see the wrong person as our enemy.
We need to have spiritual discernment and clear understanding of the word of God to know who is our real enemy. Many of us misplace who is the real enemy, i pray that the LORD will turn all our enemies to be at peace with us.
Satan excels at fuelling blame, hate and unforgiveness. He cheers when we harbour deep resentments that slowly close us off from those around us.
While there are harmful and unsafe people, we do not need to become a part of the hate cycle.
The antidote to a defensive spirit is compassion, love, humility, and forgiveness.
“All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out the changes that understanding creates in your heart.”
Jesus reveals through his words and actions that although it is excruciating and sacrificial to bless and love our enemies, it is the only way to live.
1 Peter 4:8; And above all things have fervent charity amongst yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
If there is anytime you struggle with loving your enemies; think about how much wrong things you have done to God and others around you, yet, God loves you and gave his ONLY begotten son Jesus Christ to die for you. He still loves you, you too must love others, even your enemies!
May the LORD give you the heart of understanding and grace to accept that you must love your enemies, this is a command from the Lord.
Prayer point: O LORD, please help me love my enemies and pray for those that despitefully use me and persecute me.
Key Dose: Remember that the three great pillars to life are: Faith, Hope and Charity, but the greatest of these is charity, which is ‘Love’ even for our enemies.
Pastor James Ademuyiwa
Senior Pastor (IHPCT)