Loving like God.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (NIV)
The Bible teaches us that God is love. Love is not what God does, but all love emanates from His person. Any love of any kind comes out of the fact that God is alive in all of creation. He is everywhere and His love is everywhere.
The fact that God’s love is everywhere doesn’t make love a foregone conclusion in our daily life. His love is everywhere but we might ignore it. And if we ignore God’s love, so much is lost to us.
His love removes anxiety and stress giving us peace that is not of this world. Knowing the omnipotent God loves us like a good father loves his child floods our hearts with peace. His love convinces us that He will care for our every need.
His love removes guilt, anger, and depression. When we feel that we have royally messed up our life and others, the guilt can push us into two different places: anger or depression. But His love persuades us that our sin has been lifted from us and He is working to cover over our sin bringing reconciliation and restoration where we thought everything was lost. Fully persuaded of a God who bled to cover our mistakes brings hope to our soul.
But remaining in His love that we might benefit requires an understanding of the nature of His love. He loves the wicked and the good. He loves the righteous and the unrighteous. Those who are right now committing the awful transgressions against humanity still feel the warmth of His love on their face and breathe His love into their lungs. Their life will never be void of the things of God because God loves them too. This is the nature of God’s love. To experience the benefits of His love, which is a list I barely began, we must press into God’s brand of love.
To experience God’s love and all that comes with it, we must love those who do not love us. We must love those who truly hate us. Love is not letting people walk all over us and treat us like dirt, but it is responding to their behavior with patience, kindness, and gentleness. We may need to set boundaries or speak the truth they don’t want to hear, but we do it in the love of God. Then we will experience His love, peace, hope, and more.
Prayer: Help me to remember how you loved me when I didn’t love you so that I might love those who do not love me. Amen.