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Love your neighbor and your enemy, actively

Discussion/Devotional thought of the day:

5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 5:43-45 (ESV)

It is challenging enough to love one’s friends, one’s neighbors.  Yet Jesus calls us to love as He does – to love even our enemies – as we love ourselves.   Some may hear this as law – noting the impossibility of such love, and use that as an excuse for not fulfilling this law – or even trying to fulfill it, citing Christ’s fulfillment of the law.  They dismiss the command, and seek a cheaper form of grace – one that is reactive, not proactive.

St Paul in Romans 6 would highly disagree – noting that we shouldn’t continue in our sin, that grace would abound more.  Instead we should strive to obey and love our enemies – asking God to turn their hearts toward Him.  A challenge indeed.  I love how one of my favorite authors put it.

440    When you have finished your work, do your brother’s, helping him, for the sake of Christ, with such finesse and naturalness that no one—not even he—will realize that you are doing more than in justice you ought. This, indeed, is virtue befitting a son of God!  Escriva, Josemaria,  The Way (Kindle Locations 1083-1085). Scepter Publishers.

Love results in action, it’s not just “being nice” or feeling good about someone else.  It brings a cup of cold water to someone working, then takes their place while they work.  It goes two miles with the person who demanded (fairly or not) that you go one with them one.

Love your enemies – this will not only take the mercy of God, a true level of realizing how much you are in Christ and depend on His strength, but it will give you a new appreciation of His love for you!

Lord have mercy!  And as you do, help us show your love and mercy to our enemies and our neighbors,

( by the way – this includes those politicians you’ve been complaining about recently!)

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