“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. —Luke 6:32-36
There are nations, people groups and individuals that hate other nations, people groups and individuals. It would only take a small incident to start a war, battle or fight among them. Sometimes one becomes the aggressor toward another for no other reason than selfish desires. A lack of love, replace by hate, is the cause of the world’s problems.
Every day the Lord God Almighty provides air, water and food for those who love Him and for those who do not love Him. “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). God’s very character is love and He extends His love to all who desire to receive it in loving relationship and even those who do not desire to receive Him in relationship also experience His daily love whether they understand that or not. He loved the people of this world so much that He sent His Only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to take the judgment and penalty for our sin that we might be forgiven and come into relationship with God. That is love! When we were His enemies He did this for us (Romans 5:10). Now, for those who have trusted the Lord Jesus, we are called to extend this same love toward others as God has toward us— to those who love us and to those who don’t.
It is so much easier to love those who love us, but we are also called to love those who do not love us, that even hate us. This is where the Holy Spirit truly enables us to do something that we would not naturally want to do. The natural desire is to get back at someone who has done something mean or hurtful. God calls us to a different standard. May we be faithful in this.
Dear Father, thank You for loving me even when I did not have any desire to know You or live for You. I am grateful for Your loving patience toward me and now may I extend that to others in Jesus Name and by the Holy Spirit’s power.