“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, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your  brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?” – Matthew 5:43-47

In her book, Reflections of God’s Glory, Corrie Ten Boom tells the account of a man who came to her in a meeting with his hands bandaged.  When asked about the bandages, he stated that the straw roof of his neighbor’s house was on fire, and he helped to put out the flames, burning his hands.

The part of the story that  this man did not relate was that his neighbor hated him, and had set this man’s roof on fire while his family was asleep.  The man had been able to put the fire out, but some of the sparks had flown onto the roof of the neighbor who set the fire in the first place.  The Christian man who was full of love, immediately went to his neighbor’s house and started to put out the flames with success.

Many times in our lives, we want to talk about loving others, but we want to reserve hatred, malice and judgment for those whom we may deem undeserving objects of that love.  That is not the kind of love that Jesus says born-again believers should show.  We are commanded to love everyone, even our most spiteful enemies.

We would do well to remember that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).  While we were what one could conclude as unloveable, God saw something lovely in us, decided to love us, and proved His love by sending His Son to be brutally murdered on the cross for our salvation.  If that isn’t love for an enemy, what is?

We need to examine our hearts.  Think of the person that you most could not stand and is least deserving of compassion, attention and love.  How have we shown love to that person?  If we haven’t done so, then let us resolve, determine and pray to do so today!



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