Do we want to be children of God? Do we want to be like God? Perfect. Holy. Righteous. In Heaven. If that’s what we really want then here’s part of what it will take to be such: loving people who are hard to love even when they do not deserve our affection. What? How can that be? Is that even possible? That doesn’t sound fair. It doesn’t sound normal. That’s not how it’s suppose to work. It may seem that way to us, but nevertheless it is what God has called us to do. Take a look.
In Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus tells us what the easy way is, the normal way, Satan’s way. That is to hate our enemies. If someone is mean or ugly to me well I’m sure gonna give them what they deserve. It’s easy to love those who love you back. To be nice to those who are nice. To give to those who give to you. But buddy you better believe that anyone who crosses me ain’t gonna get nothin’ but a cold stare, ear full, and fat lip. That’s the easy thing to do. But God hasn’t told us to do the easy thing. He has called us to do the hard thing. He has called us to do things His way. That is if we want to be His children. To be in Heaven with Him. Jesus said to love. And not just to pretend. The love has to be sincere. Even to one who doesn’t deserve it. Jesus tells us that we need to spend time in prayer for people who are unfair to us. Pray for what? Pray that God will lead them to a change of heart. Jesus says that if we want to be sons of the Father then we have to love our enemies and pray for them. Why? Because they are an eternal spirit just like we are. They are God’s creation just like we are. God loves them just like He loves us. They need forgiveness just like we do. None of us deserve God’s love. But God loves us anyway. And God expects us to treat them as such.
Jesus said that we must be perfect just as our heavenly Father is perfect. But it’s going to take work. You up to it? Remember this. We were enemies of God. Yet God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for His enemies. Jesus died for a bunch of people who don’t deserve a single ounce of God’s love. Even as Jesus hung on the cross in agonizing pain He showed love for His enemies when He asked God to forgive them. If God and Jesus have loved us that much, how can we do any less? Do not be overcome by evil. Overcome evil with good. God’s way works. But we gotta do it. Let’s meet the challenge. Let’s rise above sin. Let’s obey God.