By Apostle Andre Pelser
This is easier said than done! First of all we do not want to admit that we have enemies. Secondly we cannot ourselves being in love with them. Thirdly we have to learn to love all of them!
Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 that we should love our enemies, bless them that curse us and do good to those who despitefully uses us and persecutes us. In Luke 6:27 he also instructed his disciples to love their enemies and to do good to them that hate them and to pray for them who despitefully uses them.
In Luke 6:25 he gives an example of doing good to those who despitefully uses and persecutes us. Do good, lend, hoping for nothing again and your reward will be great, for God is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. In the sense that God allows the sun to shine and the rain to fall on everyone, good and evil, so we ought to treat people.
Our natural inclination would be to hate those who hate us and to be nasty to those who are spiteful towards us and to avoid those who persecute us. But if we have been born again into the family of God, into the household of faith, through Christ Jesus, there is a different nature, the nature of God that kicks in and begins to dominate our lives as children of the Most High.
Jesus prayed for those who crucified him, Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. He prayed for those who hurt him and he forgave them.
Forgiveness is not a natural inclination either. God forgives us for Christ's sake. Because Jesus died for our sins and because we believe in him, the Father forgives us. To imitate God would be to forgive by faith. We do not deserve forgiveness; neither do those who sin against us. But we can forgive, not because we feel like it, but because Jesus also died for them.
The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. We love because we are being loved. You cannot love until you have experienced love.
Love's definition is clear in I Corinthians 13:4-9 where Paul describes the actions of love as being patient and kind. In other words if we can be patient with our enemies and be kind to them, we are loving them.
We have confused the instruction to love our enemies with having feelings of being in love with them. If we simply do as he tells us to do in his word, life completely changes for us. We come to have an entirely new perspective and a new attitude towards life, things and people.
To practice patience and kindness will change our attitude towards our enemies.
An enemy is a devil. If someone treats you like a devil he or she is your enemy. Some people want to hurt you because they hate you or because they are jealous of you. Some people just don't like you, no matter how likeable you think you are!
There is a great reward awaiting those who will obey these commandments. Pray for those who hate you and for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Do good to them. Lend things to them without expecting it back. Mention their names in prayer. Write their names in your bible to remind yourself to pray for them. You will be amazed how it will change your attitude towards them when you see them again.
Dr. Gray, our teacher at Miracle Valley in Arizona, where I studied the bible, used to say, prayer changes things and the thing it changes most is you! We tend to want to change everyone else through our manipulative prayers. We think prayer gives us control of our universe, but prayer actually softens your heart towards others. Prayer is a Jesus action that makes you more like Jesus. He prayed for those who persecuted him. He was patient with his enemies.
When they came for him in the garden he asked them, who are you looking for? When they said, we are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, he said, I am he and presented himself voluntarily knowing they came to crucify him. Peter took one of the soldier's swords and cut of the ear of Malchus. I am sure he didn't aim for the ear! He tried to kill him, but the guy must have ducked. But Jesus picked up the ear and stuck it back onto the man's head and it grew back again. He told Peter to put away the sword and then said, if his kingdom was from this earth he would order his followers to fight for it. But his kingdom is not from this earth, it is a heavenly kingdom and therefore the guiding principles and value systems are different.
He promised that his Father would give the kingdom for those who ask because it is his Father's good pleasure to give them the kingdom. It is a kingdom within us.
Romans 14:17 defines it as being righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Right standing with God, peace that passes understanding in the most trying circumstances and joy in believing (not receiving yet) are the trademarks of people who have ‘found' the kingdom of God.
If you can love your enemies you have found the kingdom.
Jesus promised to those who find the kingdom of God that all things would be added unto them. That is a great promise! Instead of seeking things, seek the kingdom first.
God is love and therefore his kingdom would be a place where love rules. Love is patient and love is kind.
Old King James Version
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth?a? not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: