Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 4 of “Fan or Follower – Deal with Division” (LISTEN HERE).
I’m not talking about doing something for a person that will really help even when that person doesn’t want it. I’m talking about loving someone who hates you and in the moment stands in opposition to you.
It’s tough to love.
Jesus challenges our paradigm and our actions when it comes to our enemies:
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
What helps us meet this challenge is to reflect on both the love the Father has shown to us, and the love he shows to others. Read Romans 5:6-10 slowly.
Romans 5:6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Did you catch our status when God loved us?
Let me guess. If someone said, “Mike, I have someone here who is ungodly, a sinner, AND your enemy. I’d like you to spend your day with him showing him around town and buying him dinner and anything he wants.”
What would you do?
Love an ungodly sinner who is my enemy?
Yet, that is the very love that God showed to us in Christ. While we were ungodly, enemy sinners, Christ died for us. Christ lived his life for us. Christ showed his love for us.
This is how we are to love ungodly, enemy sinners in our lives.
But that’s why God loved us first. So in turn we could love others.
Apply: Who fits the description as an ungodly, enemy sinner in your life? What is one small act of love or kindness you might show to them?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for loving me when I was your enemy. Empower me to show this same type of love to those I perceive as my enemies. AMEN.