FEBRUARY 5 – 11, 2017
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven…” (Matthew 5:43-45 ERV)
So much is happening in the world today. It seems like everywhere one turns or every news one hears is covered with hate, bitterness, anger, pain and suffering. “Love your neighbour” is the last thing many want to hear, talk less of “love those that hurt or treat you badly.” But Jesus did not ask us to love others unconditionally just because He wants us to be like our Father in heaven, He wants us to love because when we don’t we malfunction. This state of “malfunction” is destructive to others and to us. That’s why the world is in such disarray today, that even the Christian is destructive to himself and to others.
God created us as He is; in His image and His likeness. The material God used to create us is He Himself. He pulled us out of Himself and breathed us into a human body. God is love! God does not love or likes to love or wants to love, HE IS LOVE! He cannot function any other way but love. The way of the Lord is Love. His paths are Love paths. His choices are Love choices. And that’s how we function too. We were created by God as love beings; created in love, by love, for love, to love and as love.
Every time we are called to love, as in the text, it is actually a call for us to express who we truly are. We are constantly being presented with opportunities to choose either good or evil, truth or lie, honest or dishonest, life or death, etc. What this actually means is that we are constantly being presented with opportunities to be ourselves as love by choosing love. This is the reason why the enemy instigates us to hate, dislike, be bitter against each other and even against God. He knows that when we hate or are selfish, we malfunction and don’t express who we truly are. The expression of who we are as love threatens him greatly because perfect love casts out all fear.
It is very important to note that what Jesus came to do (John 10:10) is to release us from the prison of fear so that we can live as God created us to; so that we are free to express who we truly are. For it is in the expression of who we truly are that we live and enjoy life in abundance; a full, rich and satisfying life until it overflows to others. Therefore, we rid our world of darkness and truly enjoy our lives when we love.
Peel off the skin that covers our bodies and every single one of us is exactly the same. No way we can be told apart. Those who love us and those who hate us are exactly the same as us when we peel off our skin. Doesn’t that mean that loving others is loving myself? No wonder we are commanded to love others as we love ourselves. So, when you harbour bitterness in your heart towards others, it’s like taking a knife and stabbing yourself in the heart. Now that’s serious malfunctioning. No matter what any one does to you, be yourself. Pray for them because they are malfunctioning – which is the devil’s plan against them to destroy them. That devil has set them up to become destructive to themselves and to others.
If we treat them the same way they have treated or are treating us, we too step out of love and become destructive to ourselves and others.
Dear Reader, if there is anyone who you think you can’t stand, you’re angry with, bitter towards, maybe they hurt you, betrayed you, it doesn’t matter how bad it is the thing that they did, love them by forgiving them, praying for them and freeing your heart of any negative thoughts against them. If you find that difficult to do, let your Lord know and He will help you (Philippians 4:6-7). Remember that when you love others, you are loving you and expressing your true self. Otherwise, you are malfunctioning are become destructive to others and yourself.
I pray that you will live and enjoy life abundantly, expressing only your true self no matter what! In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen!! Enjoy a fruitful week.