Daily Devotion: May 28

Luke 6:35
“ But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”

As I read not only this verse but the verses prior in which Jesus tells us how to love our enemies, I am convicted by the words He speaks.  He tells us to love our enemies; to love those that do not love us.  Jesus wants us to do good to them, to pray for them, to give them what they need, to do all the things that would be easy to do for our closest and dearest friend.  But the challenge lies essentially in loving those that hurt us and attack our character.  Loving our enemies is not something we can do out of our own strength.  I believe this love and the actions that go with it, come solely from the love of Jesus.  He lives in us and tells us we can do all things through Him that strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).  As believers we are filled with the Holy Spirit and He empowers us.

Jesus loved His enemies. He set the example for us as He hung on the cross and was mocked, ridiculed and wounded.  At the point of death, He asked His Father to forgive them.  He extended nothing but love to those that were so cruel to Him.

If I look at this point in time of Jesus’ life and how He forgave those that persecuted Him, and I look at my own “enemies” it should be easy to love them. How can I compare my enemies to Jesus’s enemies? But honestly, it’s a struggle and my flesh always gets in the way. I know that it’s God’s love that will empower me.  As much as I want to say that I have forgiven and loved those that have come into my path and caused harm, I must say it is a work in progress.  I know that I am the first one that does not merit God’s favor yet he freely pours out his grace and love on me.  Because of the love that Jesus has for me, I must love my enemies. His radical love needs to be at the forefront of my mind and heart.

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