Matthew 5:43-45 (NLT)
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Children of God who are born again by the Blood of Jesus Christ and call Him Lord do not have enemies. I am not telling you this but reminding myself. People should no longer be considered enemies of those who are believers. They are brothers and sisters. However, the enemy has done a mighty fine job of superimposing their faces over his own as he continues to manipulate people with deception and division. If I asked you to name your enemies, those who could catch their tongue before sharing the bitter truth would still see a vivid image of those who have betrayed them. Sadly most of the time our greatest “enemies” are the ones we once loved, those who were allowed close enough to our heart to do the most damage when times grew tough. Jesus has told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. When we do this, we act like true Children of God. Truth is a lot of people who say they are friends don’t really act like it. Do you pray for your friends? Do you love them in real life or simply in word only? I guess we must learn to love everyone from our friends to our enemies. A true friend lays down his life for another. Jesus gave His Life so we could be reconciled with God. We were once God’s Enemy. Sin separated us from Him and put us at odds with His Kingdom. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and nothing that we could ever do, we have been forgiven. Now God is asking the same of you…
Luke 6:35-36 (NLT)
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”
There is nothing another person can give you or take from you outside of what the Lord has done for you. There is not one thing that you desired that a person can fulfill better than Jesus. When Jesus died, He restored our relationship with God. He allowed us to forgive others with no loss of self because we have already given our life to the Lord. The only one left for us to please is God. Every relationship in our life friend or enemy is an opportunity to bless the Lord in our giving. We can do good for them and love them because we have overflowing and abundant love constantly filling and satisfying our heart, mind and soul. We have placed all of our expectation in Jesus Christ by faith and are building confident hope as we work out our salvation. Right? That’s what we are doing aren’t we? Not really, not most Christians. Church is still a religion. Jesus died to end religion and restore right relationships. It cost Him His Life. What has following Jesus cost you? Anything?
Psalm 23:4-6 (NLT)
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
I do not wish to offend any great Bible scholars but it would seem to me that if the psalmist wrote that “you prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies” that these people are not going anywhere. God is doing something in your midst. If God’s Goodness and Unfailing Love is pursing me all the days of my life and I will live in the House of the Lord forever, some people I struggle to get along with will be there, too. Case in point – jealousy turned Joseph’s brothers into his enemies. They threw him in a pit and then decided to sell him into slavery. Famine brought the perfect opportunity for revenge but the Lord made it a place of reconciliation. God is working on your blessing in the midst of great opposition. The only thing you must do to receive it is learn to live in forgiveness and love like Jesus. Choose God as your refuge and He will keep your enemies at bay. (Psalm 18:2-3) If we simply look for higher ground and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we will learn to maintain righteousness and be patient with our accusers and abusers. (Psalm 5:8) The Lord will gladly assist you when you choose to walk in His Way.
Romans 5:9-11 (NLT)
And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
To follow in the footsteps of the Lord, believers must know and understand that nothing but the Blood of Jesus Christ makes us right with God. Jesus saved us from the condemnation of God and restored our friendship with God. Restoration of friendships or even creating new ones with our enemies may result in crucifying our flesh and pride to establish it. Sin made us enemies with God. Jesus made us Friends with God. Those people who you once called enemy are now brothers and sisters. (2 Thessalonians 2:15) I don’t know how it is in your family but our children will sometimes pick on each other, poke fun and yes, even sometimes fight and bicker. But if anyone else picks on their sibling watch out because the claws come out. They will circle their little red wagons and fight somebody over the very person that has annoyed them to no end. Why? They are brothers and sisters and blood is thicker than water. The Blood of Jesus Christ has united us with every other man and woman. It is God’s Desire that not one be lost to sin but that all would be saved by the Precious Blood of His Son, Jesus. As a Child of God, this should be your number one priority and constant consideration at all times in all dealings with all people. There are no longer friends and enemies but only brothers and sisters in Christ. As religion began to destroy relationships, God sent His Son to restore them. The Jews became an enemy of Jesus Christ, it was their plotting and planning that nailed Him to the Cross. Yet, Jesus still offers redemption to all who call on His Name. Have we lost sight of the plan? Restoration and reconciliation of all God’s People! This is God’s Plan for your life. Jesus died to empower us to follow through. The enemy is working overtime to destroy every single relationship he can. What are you going to do about it?
Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT)
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
We are not fighting against flesh and blood. The face of your greatest enemy is satan not the people who you consider to be your enemy. They are simply misguided brothers and sisters trying to find their way home. Will you show them or lead them deeper into darkness? As in all things, we are given a choice. It is time for people to put on God’s Armor and grow thicker skin and a softer heart. Take your heart off your sleeve and give it Jesus Christ. He will keep it safe and secure as you give your life to others. Share the Gospel with your life. You have given power and authority over everything even those used by the enemy to harm you so quit cowering in a corner because someone doesn’t like you and make them love you. (Luke 10:18-20) You may not take revenge because you have forfeited the right to condemn when you accepted this new covenant with God. (Romans 12:19-21) He is now your avenger. The Lord is might to save so why not let Him do it? Learn to keep your friends close. But learn to keep your enemies closer. Love draws us together. Hate will only separate. In the profound words of my lovely daughter, “Let your haters be your motivators!” Motivators to walk in love!
Philippians 1:27-28 (NLT)
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself.
You are a citizen of Heaven so rise above the modern warfare of this world and walk in the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. He has allowed us the profound privilege to walk by faith and not by sight. We have access to a rich inheritance in Heaven that includes the peace of God granted those who place all their worries and cares in His Nail-Scarred Hands. He has everything under control including those who make our life miserable. Accept His Peace that passes all understanding and live in the realm of God’s Presence where fulfillment is found. (Colossians 1:20-22) He will make your enemies your friends and your love for others will grow. You will be blessed because you kept your friends close and your enemies closer! End the suffering of loneliness, depression, deception, division and brokenness by walking in love today! Stay alert! Stand firm by faith and find somebody to love!
I Peter 5:7-9 (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.