You have heard people say, “Love your neighbours and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors love their friends. If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that? But you must always act like your Father in heaven.
‘Love your neighbour’ is recognisably part of the Great Commandment, but Jesus includes love for enemies. It is a call to act well towards those who treat us badly and to pray for them. In this way we act like our Father who regularly gives good things to those who love him and those who don’t. Loving only those who love us is expected, but to love those who don’t love us marks us out as distinctly different. Jesus at the cross offered these words to his enemies ‘forgive them Father…’ Jesus invites us into a new way of love and living that transcends the usual course of relationships.
Who do you need to pray for and show love to today? Where can you break down barriers and move out of your comfort zone to love people who are different to you?
‘We can know that we will be taken care of, no matter what. We can be vulnerable because we are, in the end, simply invulnerable. And once we have broken the power of anger and desire over our lives, we know that the way of Christ in response to personal injury and imposition is always the easier way. It is the only way that allows us to move serenely in the midst of harm and beyond it.’
(Dallas Willard The Divine Conspiracy)
But first, you must start respecting the Sabbath as a joyful day of worship.
You must stop doing and saying whatever you please on this special day.
Then you will truly enjoy knowing the Lord.
He will let you rule from the highest mountains and bless you with the land
of your ancestor Jacob.
The Lord has spoken!