In His final illustration of the Christian’s relationship with the Law, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44).
In verse 45, Jesus went on to explain that it is so we may be sons/daughters of our Father in heaven. As children of God we must behave as such!
Love Your Neighbor
I personally love the scripture that says God is the one who can make even our enemies live at peace with us! That’s His supernatural work in our life and the lives of others.
We are to work out what God has worked in.
We are to put off our old selves and we are to be renewed in our minds, in our thinking, and in our attitudes towards others because of who we have become in Christ Jesus.
Christians whose hearts and minds are stayed on Christ rest in His perfect peace and live in peace with others.
How will you follow and obey God’s righteous commands and reflect His goodness not only to those who you think deserve it, but also to those you think don’t?
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Jesus said true righteousness is not just a matter of behavior but it’s a matter of the heart, exposing motives, attitudes, and thoughts. Like the Old Testament, the Sermon on the Mount reveals our sin (Romans 7), and gloriously leads us to the Savior.
Will you pray for Christ’s righteousness to expose your wrong motives and thoughts, and replace them with Christlike love and service? From what old thinking or sin will you flee as a result of this lesson and how will you live differently because of it?