Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
Love... Is Not Hateful
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest Commandment.' And the Second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two Commandments.
Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)
We're called to love God first, our neighbors second and even the enemies who harm or denounce us.
We're called to respect our governments, work well for mean bosses and go the extra mile in difficult situations.
We're called to honor our parents, obey our rulers and care for our families--no matter how we're treated.
We're called to treat outsiders, poor people and the least among us with mercy and steadfast compassion.
We're called to unite with kin in Christ (also distant cousins with different rules), so the world will believe in Jesus.*
We're not called to condemnation, accusation or hateful behaviors toward any person or group on earth--even when they seem perfectly justified.. because we're not perfect and Christ commands the opposite.
Why? Because at the root of detestable actions (like putting innocent saints in prison or captaining a slave ship) is spiritual blindness caused by evil principalities and powers.
They are our real enemies--not people. Because even the worst men (like Saul who became Paul or the former slave-trader, John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace)... may be redeemed.
Because we serve a God 'Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth' (1 Timothy 2:4, NIV).
Therefore, we love.
## Love Series: Love Is Not Hateful (Part 5)
* 'That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me' (John 17:21, NKJV).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Love series.