Matthew 5:44 NKJV - "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
What's the greatest victory you can ever have over your enemy? Some would say, "Make you enemy your friend." That's good, but it doesn't go as far as "Making your enemy your brother or sister in Christ." For when that happens they are no longer your enemy! How do you do that?
Think of the One who gave the advice in our Daily Verse.
He loved His enemies. "For God so loved the world..." John 3:16. That love was directed towards all of mankind.
He blessed those who cursed Him. He led Elisha to tell the Israelites how to treat their enemies they captured: "Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and bow? Set food and drink before them..." 2 Kings 6:22. In this way they turned the tables on those who were sent to harm them. God's people cared for their enemies and showed them that Israel's God was a God who cared for them.
He did good to those who hated Him. "...Jesus of Nazareth...who went about doing good." Acts 10:38. In Matthew 5 we're told that God sends rain on everyone's fields, and He allows His sun to shine to benefit everyone in the world.
He prayed for those who spitefully used Him and persecuted Him. "Then Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.'"
What was the result? One of the thieves who was crucified with Jesus and had insulted Him earlier in the day, "...Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him" Mark 15:32, would later on cry out to Jesus to save Him, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom." Jesus' prayer that His Father would forgive everyone who crucified Him led this man to realize that Jesus could save him! Literally, one who had been Jesus' enemy would die as one of God's children!
How do you treat those who make life difficult for you? Do you resent them? Do you argue with them or, at least, do what you can to avoid them?
You might ask yourself why God allows them in your life. Oftentimes I have found God was teaching me how to do what He did with those who were His enemies. Once I did, they were no longer my enemies. Even if I didn't lead them to Christ, I would treat them as people God loves and I should love them to. May I encourage you to join me in seeking to do the same?
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.