Most of us probably remember that Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray even for those who mistreat us (Matthew 5:43-47). Maybe we don't think about it much--like a lot of people, I like to think that I don't actually have any enemies.
But Jesus strongly suggests that God will, after all, bring us into contact with people who do us wrong. They might be members of our own family. They might be people we barely know, who belittle us or slander us, to our face or behind our back. Jesus says that when we meet them, this is our chance to be children of our Father in heaven.
Evidently, simply loving the good people who love us back doesn't (quite) make us like God. It takes one more step for us to really start living as God's children. Only by loving our enemies, are we really imitating (on earth) a Father who (in heaven) loves those who reject Him.
Only by loving our enemies, are we really imitating (on earth) a Father who (in heaven) loves those who reject Him.
That's when we become the blessed peacemakers, who will be called children of God (Matthew 5:9)--people who return good for evil.
I hope you're having a good week, and that nobody is hurting you. But if somebody does you wrong, I pray that you take this opportunity to be more like Jesus.
We're allowed to get angry; we're allowed to protect ourselves. But we aren't allowed to stop loving and praying for everyone, especially those who haven't treated us right.
We don't just love by our own strength. We love by the power of the Holy Spirit, who helps us imitate Jesus. That's what makes us children of God.
Join us every Sunday at 10 a.m. to encourage one another in worship.
Board meeting is Monday night, August 28, at 8:00 p.m.
Annual election of officers is September 10, immediately following morning worship.