GET TOGETHER- Loving Your Enemies
Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (NKJV)
Well I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me something and this is what He gave me. To be honest I can’t think of a subject that may be more difficult and perhaps even less popular during this time than telling people that we need to love our enemies.
To be honest I like it best when I get some revelation or insight on something that I have not gotten before. I was taught to love enemies in Bible School when I was a child. I can’t say that I always did that, but I was taught that. And I remember when I got saved twenty-seven years ago I did love everybody. But now we live in a culture where we are concerned that if we show love to an enemy people may think that we have gone over to their camp.
One thing that helps me in this area is when I allow the Holy Spirit to work is to do what a wise, solid, never compromising preacher told me several years ago. He said to preach prophetically, and to love pastorally. He also told me to try to win people rather than trying to beat them. He meant when you are preaching, and teaching preach truth under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, when we are out here in the highways and byways where Jesus commanded us to go we want to love people and realize that God will want to use us to win them to the Kingdom. We can’t win people that we don’t love.
Loving people who oppose the things that we stand for doesn’t mean that we love their behavior, or sin. Jesus loved me when I was living in sin. Thank the Lord that He loved me enough to take me out of that sin. He did it by sending people by me who didn’t compromise what they believed, but they showed Christ like love.
The early Christians often got called atheists because they refused to worship the Roman gods and goddess’s. They were accused of being cannibals because the Romans didn’t understand what it meant for them to partake in the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the celebration of Holy Communion. And yet they would persevere, and the Lord would do a mighty work that has outlasted and will always outlast the Roman Empire.
How do you do this? When someone curses you don’t curse back. Do something good for those who hate you. The most important thing as Jesus said is to pray for them. The saints in the New Testament who were persecuted and hated in ways that most of us have not been obeyed Jesus in this and the Kingdom advanced in mighty ways. Here are Stephen’s words as he was being stoned to death for his faithfulness:Ac 7:60 “Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (NKJV) The Apostle Paul was persecuted, imprisoned and according to tradition was beheaded here is what he has to say on the subject:Ro 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (NKJV) Peter said that when we do this that we will be blessed: “1Pe 3:9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. “(NKJV)
These men that I just mentioned were filled with the Holy Spirit. Love is an abiding gift of the Holy Spirit in every believer:1Co 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (NKJV) Just like the other gifts of the Holy Spirit love must be stirred up:2Ti 1:6 ¶ Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (NKJV) It might be good to have a brother or sister lay hands on us and pray that the gift of love be stirred up in us, so that we can love our enemies.
Finally, we all need to remember what Paul said about who our enemies are:Eph 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (NKJV) When we love our enemies we don’t give those evil demonic forces an open door to come and work in our lives. We close the door to the spirits of strife, envy, faultfinding, bitterness, gossip, and all the others. Going back to what I said earlier I believe that when we love our enemies that we will win some of those who hate us and who also hate the Gospel. Jesus loves to turn His enemies into friends. I know that because He turned me from an enemy of His to a friend of His.
LET US PRAY
Jesus, I was going to tell you that it isn’t easy loving those who hate us, disagree with us, and say all kinds of evil against us. But you know what it is like better than anyone else that has ever lived. We ask You today for a fresh anointing to love in this season when we face persecution, mockery, people calling us ignorant and so many other names. Fill us a fresh today. So that we can love our enemies like You did and have commanded us to do.
In Jesus Name
God bless you all!