God Is Love
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 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 children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Love the Lost
Jesus has set the standard for love. When we were still sinners, He allowed Himself to be impaled upon the cross for our sins. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus on the cross – it was His love for us. Nothing and no one could have kept Jesus on the cross if He didn’t want to be there. He told us in His word that he could have called upon twelve legions of angels to come to His aid if need be.
The love of God is a recurring theme throughout all of scripture. The Israelites have repeatedly ignored the laws that God has given them in His covenant to them, yet God has promised to redeem them. Though they suffered much, God still protects them today from their enemies. In the due course of time, and to the glory and praise of God, He has brought them together and gave them back their country after millennia of being dispersed.
God loved Adam when he sinned, and sacrificed an animal for his sins as well as to give him and Eve covering for their bodies. God gave us the perfect covering for our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ, which acts as a robe of righteousness and washes away our sins. God it the one who continually provides for us, even and especially when we act wickedly towards Him. God seeks out the lost not because they came to Him first, but because He loves them.
God gives us His resources to use, knowing that at some time, we may abuse them, or use them in a way that does not honor Him. God is gracious in this time and time again, generation after generation. God’s continuous act of giving all of us access to His sunshine and rain shows that God loves all of us.
We have been provided much from God. When we use our resources to just help one another, and don’t help the wicked and evil among us, we are not properly bearing the image of God. It seems counter-intuitive to help the wicked, for we know that they greatly want us to fail. They will use every means at their disposal to destroy our character through (false) accusations, take what isn’t theirs, and attempt to force us to do their bidding through governmental force when we no longer respond to accusations of hatred and bigotry. They deny God (as we once did), and do the same things to Him (as they think they can). Yet God still seeks them (and us) out.
We need to remember that God is calling all to repentance. We need to reach out to our enemies to try to reconcile with them, within the limits of the laws of God. God seeks to destroy His enemies by making them His friends. And should they refuse His initial attempts, He shows them even more mercy. But even God has limits. And anyone who refuses to respond to the love of God will receive His judgment and punishment.
God is full of mercy and grace. His mercies renew every morning. God has compassion upon us because He loves us. Jesus knows how difficult it can be walking with flesh on. God has been so merciful, that He has tolerated the systematic slaughter of more than fifty million babies alone in the United States of America to the god of abortion. Anyone of lesser character would be so angry that they might utterly destroy such a callous, unfeeling, murderous, ungrateful, and rebellious people. Yet God continues to show all of us mercy. We need to remember His mercy when our enemies need our help. God also promises a great reward for this. And while He doesn’t elaborate, I believe that the great reward is the ability to experience His character, and draw closer to Him. For when we experience His character and draw close, we become more like Him.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I loving my enemies with compassion, mercy, and assistance?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You show us mercy, compassion, and love each and every day. Help me, Father, to experience Your character in a more personal way every day. Show me how to love my enemies. Help me to see them the way that You see them, and to react in a way that correctly displays Your character to all that watch. Show them Your love through my love, compassion, and mercy. Grant them peace and prosperity. Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.