Matthew 5: 43–48 (KJV)
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Love is a subject that almost every one can teach theoretically but our emphasis this month will be on the doing of it. First component of love as shown to us in john 3:16, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son; the first prove of love is giving.
To love is to recognize value in someone. When you love God, you recognize God’s value and want to demonstrate it by giving to Him in celebration of His worth or value. There is absolutely nothing on this planet that is anywhere near God’s value: so what do you do? You give him your life.
When you recognize and value people, then you recognize the gap between their reality and their potential. You want to bridge that gap by giving. God recognized value in us; He demonstrated this value by giving the life of His only son because He wanted to bridge the gap between where we were as sinners and our potential as the righteousness of God.
The second prove of love which is a derivative of the first is forgiving. To forgive means to cancel a debt. In this instance, they are emotional debts. To forgive is to refuse to hold feelings of resentment or animosity against someone. When we love, we give and forgive.
The question today is who should we love? Matthew 22: 37–40 say love the Lord your God with all your heart, might and your soul, which is the first commandment. The second one is like it; love your neighbor as yourself. We are to love God and secondly we are to love other people. Who qualifies to be your neighbor? That would be anyone that lives in your vicinity, family members, and your colleagues in the office, someone that is not far from you.
Jesus breaks is down in Matthew 5 saying love the ones that hate you. The ones that persecute and curse you. Love your enemies. You can’t figure out what to do to your enemies better than God. Our attention here is being drawn to the fact that in our relationships with people, their actions should not change our nature. Our actions should not be reactions to what they do but it should be something that emanates from our own nature.
God makes the sun to shine during the good and the bad and rain to fall because our actions can never change Him. God is love; the worst hatred from anyone will never change the love nature of God. If God is love and we have the nature of God then we are love.
If the only measure of our capacity for love was the good things that we have been doing to other believers, to people that are nice to us and you know there’s a blessing for that because it’s a commandment from the bible. There is a blessing for giving.
Pastor Samuel Adeyemi is the Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, a fast growing, life changing church committed to “raising role models” based in Lagos. He is also the President of Success Power International.