“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 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.” Matthew 5.44-45
Of all the commands that Jesus gives us, this is one of the hardest! It is much easier to think of all the bad things that we would like to happen to those who stand against us! The truth is that this command reveals something incredible about the nature of God.
We are commanded to love our enemies, and in this way we will be children of our Father in heaven. In other words, by doing this we will reflect the very nature of God who loves his enemies and whose heart is to do good to them. All too often we beat ourselves up over whether we are good enough to receive blessings from God, for in our minds we can easily associate them with what we deserve. This verse teaches us that God blesses anyway. Of course he wants us to be involved in what is good, but not because such goodness will open the door to his blessings.
Our actions cannot change the nature of God: he is good, he loves everyone and his heart is to bless.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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