Love Your Enemies | Short Sermon Series
How do I love my enemy? you ask with all seriousness. This isn't a matter of just thinking nice thoughts. We need Jesus to do a heart change within us, to put the kind of heart within us toward our enemies that was in God who sent Jesus to redeem and forgive a world full of despicable people. God-haters, vulgar, foul-mouthed, unfaithful to spouses, lying, cheating, stealing, selfish. The list goes on and on, and describes us at our worst. Somehow, God loves the people of Israel who thumb their noses at him again and again. He doesn't quit. They are unfaithful and are punished, but then God is at it again seeking to bless them. He doesn't give up. He has a heart of love toward the loveless. That is what we need to love our own enemies. We have plenty of strong examples from our God to follow.
So how do you do it? I don't think we wait for emotions of love. Rather we start with actions of love, and emotions may follow later. We start doing what Jesus taught right here:
Do good. When you find a way you can do something good for one of your worst enemies, do it. Not to shame him, but because you are trying to find it in your own evil heart to love him for Jesus' sake.
Bless. When you think of the person who is slandering you, and saying untrue and nasty things about you, find ways to work blessing into your thoughts. Speak a blessing out loud. When you are with friends, instead of complaining about your unjust treatment, go out of your way (actively) to speak well of your enemies. Why? To shame them? No -- though it will. But to find it in your own heart to love them.
Pray. Intercede. When you're praying, you probably pray for your family and your pastor, and your friends and family. Why don't you begin to pray and intercede for your enemies? Actively. Start to ask God to help them. Ask God to heal the hurts in their lives that are some of the motivators of their evil actions. Ask God to bless them and show mercy to them. Why? To shame them? No, in order to find it in your heart to love them.
And if you'll do good when you find opportunities, and bless when you think of them, and pray and intercede earnestly before the Lord, you'll find that God will begin to put love in your heart toward your enemies. Actual love. Sometimes loving emotions, too.
Short Sermon adapted from “Love Your Enemies (Luke 6:27-36)” by jesuswalk.com 🎨@namesyerushah