When We Love Our Enemies We Extend God’s Love To Others Without Fear
Mark 12:30-31 (NIV) 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these.”
It’s important to know what God has to say about how to love one another. We know by reading Mark 12:30-31 that we’re not only to love God with our whole being, but we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves. This is the New Testament commandment that keeps believers centered upon Godly living.
We also need to know if we’re expected to love our enemies. The recent violence in Charlotesville, Virginia and the criticism of America’s President for calling all the violence that occurred that day “wrong” instead of singling out specific groups, makes clear that America has become a severely divided nation when it comes to what is right and what is wrong.
This division breeds chaos and serves as an excuse for more violence. Sadly, there are many who desire to destroy the freedoms given American citizens by our constitution for their personal gain, but are we to fear them? Are we to hate them? Or are we to give into to them because we’re suppose to love them as ourselves?
If we wish to operate in God’s wisdom, we need to allow God’s Word to dominate our thinking and actions so that we can guard against following man over God. Our own thinking can lead to fear, anger and perhaps hatred of others so we need to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (James 1:22).
We need God’s Word alive in us by the Holy Spirit or we can allow the enemy to influence our minds or bring us harm as we share God’s love with them. The scriptures need to guide our lives as we share God’s love and His Word to achieve victory. Otherwise, we’ll become confused and lose our spiritual strength and footing.
As we stand in Christ for America and the whole world, are we to fear the likelihood of further violence and hatred? Are we to fear the powerful sources behind the violence which has threatened to take down America and those who support peace and freedom? Or are we to stand bold in Christ as we claim that we are safe within God’s love? Let’s look at Matthew 5:43-48 to find out God’s position on the enemy.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV)
Love Your Enemies
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 children 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 own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
God loves everyone! If we’re to follow God’s law of love we need to follow God’s Word and love how He loves. He tells believers to love Him with all our being, to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love our enemies. We need to say, “Okay Heavenly Father. I’ll do as you say!” But we also need to read the scriptures in context to understand this doesn’t mean allowing our enemies to kill, steal or destroy us.
John 10:10 is explicit about the enemy of the world whose desire it is to steal, kill and destroy, while Christ came so that we may have abundant lives. Right now we see an escalation of the enemy’s destruction in America and other great countries, but we have been empowered through Christ to overcome him.
John 10:10 (KJV) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
John 10:10 shows us how important the Word of God is for defining God’s love. We’re to look to Jesus for abundant life so that we can love our enemies without allowing them to bring harm to us or our families. We can say, “wait! I love this person in Christ, but I’m not going to allow them to alter my abundant life!” And as we look to Luke 10:19 we see the power we’ve been given as we operate in God’s love. We can tread over all the power of the enemy and God will protect us through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:19 (KJV) Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Do you know who the enemy is? Is it the myriad of people who accuse Christians of being hypocrites for not accepting political or worldly agendas that oppose God’s Word and His love? Or maybe it’s the many entitled groups who threaten peaceful citizens and governments with violence to make their personal agenda’s replace the laws that are set in place to prevent chaos and justice. Maybe it’s the people who mandate that family and friends reflect their thoughts, beliefs and actions and resign themselves to accept intolerant religious and political beliefs based more on dictatorships than democracy.
Whatever or whoever you might think the enemy is, there is an evil force behind them that desires to kill, steal and destroy the world. The good news is that we have power over the enemy as we walk in God’s love toward everyone who comes against us! We can remain strong in God’s love and safe by praying for God to bless those who wish us harm as Matthew 5:44 tells us. When we use God’s wisdom and His guidance to love our enemies, He will bless them, bless us and the situation. And He will keep us safe as we put our trust in Him!
We Can Love Our Enemies By Praying For Them
For over thirty years I’ve prayed for my enemies because of a minister who befriended my husband and I when we were very young. We complained one evening about how badly a certain person was treating us. He was kind and patient with our ignorant attitudes and encouraged us with a big smile while he shared Matthew 5:44.
He led us in prayer for this particular person and at the same time, he changed our lives forever. He taught us how to love our enemies God’s way and care about what happens to them. Since then I’ve always prayed for my enemies, and God has always confirmed His Word by creating a peaceful resolution within a situation of safety and protection. Where resolution wasn’t possible, He created a means for a safe escape and great blessing on my behalf or the behalf of others.
Today, I pray for those who oppose Christian beliefs, for those who desire to destroy America for selfish gain and for those who preach God’s love yet simultaneously preach violence and intolerance. I hope that you join me in agreement and believe in God’s protection over your life and protection for the many Christians who work tirelessly to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Love Your Enemies God’s Way To Not Fear Them
1 John 4:18 (NIV) 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
If you’re following God’s Word, which includes following the laws of your country, then you have nothing to fear from those who hate you or hate what you believe! We are made perfect in God’s love because His love doesn’t see race or skin color. God’s is not a respecter of persons, therefore, we should not fear our enemies, but be strong and courageous in Christ to overcome and achieve victory!
Acts 10:34-35 (KJV) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Because God’s love is always tolerant, our actions as well as our beliefs must reflect scripture to maintain the integrity of God’s truth or else we become as the world with beliefs that quickly change in the name of progression or modernism. God’s Word never changes because it’s the same yesterday, today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Follow Jesus and you will always maintain peace and overcome fear.
John 14:27 (ASV) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.