"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 Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.Luke 6:35(NASB)
Human nature generally indicates that we are able to love the people who love us. Unsaved men and women prove this to be true. Loving those that love us comes naturally, and although there may well be a selfish motive underlying human love, Jesus tells us that if you only love those that love you, there is no credit connected with this in God's divine administration.
Loving, lending, and giving to others, too often has an ulterior motive. Financial institutions, for example, only lend to those they are confident will repay. But, whether it's a friendly bank or a kindly person lending to others, there is generally an expectation that they will be receiving some sort of remuneration. This may be the way of the world, but Jesus introduced a heavenly standard that can only be implemented in a redeemed life - as empowered from above.
Jesus called upon us to love our enemies as well as our friends. We are to love our adversaries and pray for those that are antagonistic towards us. We are to love those that oppose us and are hostile towards us, and we are exhorted to do good to them. Jesus even calls us to do good and to lend to others while expecting nothing in return. This is not normal human behaviour, but is unmistakably the conduct the Lord expects from a Christian who is honouring Him in their action towards others.
This teaching of the Lord Jesus has nothing to do with justification. We do not become children of God by being good or offering interest-free loans to other people. We are saved by grace through faith in the sacrificial work and glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ - and this is non negotiable.
However, those that have already been saved and have become children of God by faith in Christ, are expected to behave in a manner that is worthy of their status as children of God, as empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The distinctive behaviour and divine love that is described in this verse, can only be manifest in the one that has been born from above - as the life and nature of Christ is manifested in them. Only those that are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus can display these divine characteristics of our holy and loving God and Father.
May the love and grace of Christ so fill our hearts, that we manifest the divine love of God to others, in word and in deed, and become a beautiful reflection of Christ Jesus our Saviour and bring honour and glory to His holy name.
Heavenly Father, my own, human love is found wanting and without the love of Christ flowing through me, I am incapable of living as You would have me to live. Fill me, day by day, with the love of Christ so that I may love my enemies, pray for those that despitefully use me, and show goodness and grace to others in need. Help me to reflect the godly characteristics of Christ in my everyday life, to His praise and glory. This I ask in His precious name, AMEN.
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