The Jesus Kind of Love - Conclusion
Love Your Enemies
So while many still struggle with the level of the Jesus kind of love spoken of in the previous post, Jesus raises the bar even higher. First we are commanded to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Then the new commandment is given to love our spiritual brothers and sisters the same ways that Jesus has loved us. That means to love and forgive the same ways we are loved and forgiven by the Lord. It means that we are to extend the same level of compassion, understanding, mercy and grace that has been extended to us. The same ways that the Lord has been patient with us, we are to be patient, longsuffering, caring and concerned with other brothers and sisters. Some of us find this nearly impossible to do if we don’t have a realistic view of how much the Lord’s love has encircled our lives, covered our faults, overlooked our flaws and comforted our hearts. We are to love the same ways we have been loved. Now here is the third level of the Jesus kind of love: love your enemies!
When we come to Jesus He embraces the total person and then helps us to get rid of the parts that are not like Him. He doesn’t reject us because we are not perfect. He does not reject us because we have not done everything that pleases Him. See what He says about the Jesus kind of love. (Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:27)
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Some may think that they don’t have the capacity to love like this. But we do if we are born again we have His spirit living on the inside of us. All we have to do is allow Him to love people through us.
Just in case we have trouble understanding the concept of loving our enemies, Jesus gave some examples. If someone takes a garment from you don’t go running after them yelling and screaming and snatching it back. But give them more than what they took. Jesus isn’t advising us to be stupid or to live foolishly. He isn’t saying not to protect yourself and your family and your goods. He is saying don’t retaliate against people who sin against you. He declares in His Word that vengeance belongs to Him and He will repay. We are not to be consumed with seeing that people get their just desserts for what they have done. He is the judge and He will see that we all get what is coming to us.
The message Jesus is teaching concerns a heart condition. He wants us to be free from everything that binds, hinders or is spiritually, mentally or emotionally acidic. Anything that erodes our peace or eats away at our stability in Him is harmful to us even if we don’t know it. His message is encouraging us to have a “let-it-go” attitude. Every time we see a person who wronged us or remember a deed that was done to us unjustly say to the Lord, “I let it go. I release this injustice and hold nothing against the person or people responsible.” In order to be forgiven of the wrong we have done, we must forgive others. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Be a carrier and an ambassador, a representative of the Jesus kind of love! Don’t be fooled into categorizing your sin as less offensive or not as bad as what someone else has done. We all have sinned.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
It is short-sighted, arrogant and foolish to think that a lesser sin excuses a person from doing what Jesus said. His instructions apply to all of us. He said those who love Him will do what He says.
John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
The Jesus kind of love is obedient to the Father’s instructions. Jesus perfectly followed the heart of the Father and in so doing pleased His Father.
When we love as Jesus teaches, fear is forcefully thrown out of us and we are made mature, settled, serene and confident in His love.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
If a person is resistant to love like Jesus loves it is usually because they are fearful. They are afraid that justice won’t be served and they are fearful that they won’t be protected. I John 4:18 lets us know that the Jesus kind of love has power, strength and authority and it will cast out fear.
Do the right thing and love like Jesus loves!