Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 5:43-45’

Love your enemies

February 8, 2017

Matthew-5-44

The Verse of the Day for February 8, 2017 is found in the section of Scripture known as “The Beatitudes”:

Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV):

[Love Your Enemies] “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

An entry on the Beatitudes is revised and re-posted here:

Part of the “Sermon on the Mount,” which some scholars maintain is really the “Sermon on the Plain,” the Beatitudes form a series of eight declarations that begin with the word “blessed.” Translated from the Greek word, makarios, “blessed” refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity, expressing deep joy and fulfillment of the soul. The word has been translated, happy, fortunate, favored. A contemporary response when asked about one’s state of being is the expression, “blessed and highly favored.”

The following scripture memory song speaks of the passage in this way:

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”
They help us to see. They help us to be
All that God wants us to be.
We will be blessed and be a blessing in return
When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”
They help us to see. They help us to be
All that God wants us to be.
We will be blessed and be a blessing in return
When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”
When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

Listen to the Beatitude Song by Hillsong

Dr. Martin Luther King speaks of the life-transforming power of the love of God, making reference to the passage from the Beatitudes that states “Love your enemies.”

Love your enemies

February 8, 2016

Matthew-5-44

Verse of the Day for February 8, 2016 comes from Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV):

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; 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.

This passage of scripture is taken from the “Sermon on the Mount,” which some scholars maintain is really the “Sermon on the Plain.” Part of that celebrated sermon includes exhortations as to how the followers of Jesus Christ should behave. The first part of Matthew 5 includes the “Beatitudes” which form a series of eight declarations that begin with the word “blessed.” Translated from the Greek word, makarios, “blessed” refers to a state of spiritual well-being and prosperity, expressing deep joy and fulfillment of the soul. The word has been translated, happy, fortunate, favored.

The following excerpt from a scripture memory song speaks of the introductory passage from Matthew 5 in this way:

The Beatitudes Are the “Be Attitudes”

The Beatitudes are the “Be Attitudes.”

They help us to see. They help us to be

All that God wants us to be.

We will be blessed and be a blessing in return

When we learn to follow the “Be Attitudes.”

Following this specific introduction, Jesus continues to instruct followers as to how they should behave, contrasting what has been previously considered as acceptable behavior with a new approach, a new attitude, that the Savior offers.

Instead of only loving those who are close to you, followers are to “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.” As the children of God, believers are to conduct themselves in the same way that their Father does. Since God is no respecter of persons, and He “makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust,” followers should live their lives in the same manner.

A previous blog entry based on Ephesians 5:1 encouraged believers to be “followers of God” or imitators of their father and to walk in love as dear children. Indeed, to walk in love is the more excellent way. The following is an excerpt from that entry:

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Ephesians 5:1-2:

Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

As believers we are to be imitators or mimics of God, our Father. In a similar manner to a young boy who wants to walk in his father’s shoes and wear his father’s hat, we are to be followers of God. Our lives are to be filled to overflowing with love. Our lives should be a reflection of the saying, “Like father, like son.”

We can thus, follow Christ’s example, as we offer our lives as sacrificial expression of our devotion to God.

Here is a poetic expression that also reminds us of how we should conduct our lives:

Walk in Love: Our Best Defense

Don’t bite the bait,

Don’t take offense.

Walk in the love of Jesus Christ.

It’s your best defense.

Scripture Memory Song

 

Always attacking, the Accuser stalks his prey,

Relentless in maligning Saints, both night and day.

Fiery darts of wicked words hurled in endless assaults

Reflect his evil deeds to magnify our faults.

He sets the traps, lures of the Spirit of Offense.

To counteract, we walk in love, our best defense.

He tries to trip us up, to be a stumbling block,

But we are ever vigilant around the clock.

Although we strive to reach the highest good,

Our motives are questioned; we are misunderstood.

Despite life’s challenges, we seek to rise above.

Though deeply wounded when betrayed, we still walk in love.

The thief comes to offend, falsely accuse and betray,

But we conquer through Christ, each time we trust and obey.

We close with this musical reminder urging us to “Love Your Enemies”:

Bless–don’t curse; do good–not evil; don’t forget to pray

February 8, 2014

Matthew-5--44The Verse of the Day for February 8, 2014 is found in Matthew 5:43-45:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; 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.

When confronted with negative situations, the words of Jesus Christ remind us to move in the opposite spirit in a number of ways.

Bless–don’t curse:

Followers of Christ are to bless those who curse them. The same exhortation comes from Roman 12:14:

Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them. (Amplified Bible)

Do good–not evil

As believers we are always endeavoring to do good, even to those who hate us.  The expression “to do good” brings to mind Galatians 6:10:

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Included among “all men” are those who hate us. This reminder to do good is echoed in the words of John Wesley, who said:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Don’t forget to pray

When we encounter those who persecute us and speak all manner of evil against us, Christians ask, “What can we do?” We are not to retaliate but to pray for them. Jesus reminded us that “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” We are further exhorted to pray without ceasing. Someone has said, “There is always something to pray about.”

Steven Curtis Chapman offers this reminder: “Let us Pray”

The Verse of the Day shows us how we should respond to those who oppose us and persecute us.