The Rules of Kingdom Life

A reporter was interviewing an old man on his 100th birthday. “What are you most proud of?” he asked. “Well, “ said the man, “I don’t have an enemy in the world.” “What a beautiful thought! How inspirational!” said the reporter. “Y … More

Enemy
This portion of Scripture contains what is commonly called “The Golden Rule.” It is a mistake to think that our Lord was teaching a system of ethics that will do away with evil and raise us to a higher spiritual plane. The Jews despised the Romans because they oppressed God’s people, but Jesus told the people to love these enemies. Nothing can do that except the new birth. You can’t fall into this type of love; it takes a conscious effort. Jesus was simply teaching His disciples that their actions must go beyond what is considered good morality by the world (vv. 27-30). It was dealing with our attitude toward people. Three key principles stand out:
  1. We must treat others as we want to be treated (v. 31). This assumes we want the very best spiritually for ourselves.
  2. Give as though you are giving to God (vv. 32-35). Do not retaliate when others attack you, give freely to those who ask of you, and treat others the way you would want them to treat you. This type of love marks a disciple off as distinctive (vv. 32-34) and is the type of love that God shows and enables the disciple to demonstrate (v. 35).
  3. We must imitate our Father in heaven and be merciful (v. 36). This means that we become more like God in our character.

We must love our enemies, do good to them and pray for them. Hatred only breeds more hatred.  This cannot be done in our own strength, but it can be done through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We will reap what we sow (vv. 37-38). If we live to give, God will see to it that we receive; but if we only live to get, God will see to it that we lose. This principal applies not only to giving of money, but also to the giving of ourselves in ministry to others. No one ever loses by loving, nor becomes poor by giving. Every cheerful giver knows both the joy of giving and the joy of God’s wonderful provision.

Application

Do I have anyone who might consider me as an enemy at the moment? If so, what would happen if I “turned the tables” and sent them a kind letter of encouragement?

Luke 6:27-38 (English Standard Version)

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

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