Daily Bible Podcast Day 324 – Matthew 5-7
“‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 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. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'” ~Matthew 5:43-48
This is one of those “Jesus moments” where what He says is exactly counter to our natural instincts. If my concern were for myself and my feelings and well-being, I should hate my enemies. However, Jesus wants us to be focused on others. Blessing your enemy is more likely to lead him to repentance, which is what God is after.
I have to admit that I am not usually focused on what is most likely to lead my “enemy” to repentance. I’m usually looking out for myself and my sense of right and wrong.
Father, this is really difficult. I’m not naturally inclined to love my “enemies”. Help me remember that Your desire is to see everyone come to repentance and that my responsibility is to do what I can to help that happen, or at least not hinder it. Jesus says, “be perfect,” so please help to be perfect in this way.