26th June 2012

Love Your Enemies

“Do not gloat when your enemy fails; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”
Proverbs 24:17 (NIV)

The other day my football team were playing their greatest rivals in the League and, as I regard God as a supporter of my team, I was praying very hard that they would win! Unfortunately, they lost badly—no doubt others were praying for our opponents…

God actually tells us not to rejoice when our enemies get into trouble, and in verse 18, tells us that He disapproves of that attitude and it may backfire against us.  In Matthew Chapter 5, verse 43, Jesus reminds us that we naturally hate our enemies—it seems obvious to us that we should also hate those we perceive mean us harm. God however, is not a respecter of people, and gives gifts to all men. The sun shines and life-giving rain falls on both good and bad people.

Jesus loves all people and he suffered and died so that all may have eternal life through belief in him. We are then to become like Jesus who commands us to love our enemies. Far from rejoicing at their problems, we are to pray for their health and prosperity and then to rejoice at their success. By doing this we may well help change their feelings towards both us, and Jesus, whom we serve.

Father, we learn from your Word that you love all people. We pray that you would help us to learn to show love to our enemies that they may come to know you.

Study by David Boardman

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