Love Your Enemies

by Lee Buford on July 8, 2011

Love your enemies. Few things are more opposed by the sinful nature of man than the thought of loving those we can’t imagine loving. But God’s Word is very clear where this is concerned:

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
– Matthew 5:44

Why would Jesus command that of His followers? Is this even possible?

We are commanded to love and pray for our enemies because He did, and our obedience in following His example brings glory to Him. This outpouring of love and forgiveness also brings peace to us while freeing our enemies and allowing them to see Christ in us. Most don’t, or won’t, do this. That’s why our obedience to the command is so important. Followers of Christ, in loving our enemies, are shining His light in the midst of surrounding darkness.

Can you do it? No and yes.

In our flesh, relying on our own abilities, loving our enemies is impossible. Yet by His grave and strength we can do just that. Because we have been forgiven we can forgive. Because He first loved us we can love others…even those we consider to be our enemies.

So by His grace, love them as Jesus did. In Him we find the strength to do so, and others find the gospel at work in us.

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