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What kind of things did Jesus say and do to reveal to us the heart of God? Consider Luke 6:27-28: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

And He wasn’t finished! Jesus then added: “… do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).

That’s tough, isn’t it? How do we naturally respond if someone curses us? Be honest! And yet, God blesses those who curse Him. Do you remember Jesus’ prayer after His enemies had nailed Him to the cross? “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). He prayed for those who mistreated Him. And so, in Jesus, we see what God is really like. God’s love is so great that it overcomes all opposition and clears away all obstacles. As the Scripture says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). You see, so often it has been the goodness of God that has brought me to my knees.

Jesus declares, “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). These are the glorious traits and characteristics of Almighty God. And so John could write, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). Jesus came to forgive us our sins—and He expects His disciples to follow His example and continue to reveal God’s loving nature to the world.

Of course, all of these things irritate and oppose our fleshly nature. We don’t naturally like loving our enemies, and refusing to judge or condemn. On the other hand, why wouldn’t we want to do the things that Jesus commands us to do? What do we find so objectionable about them? Don’t you think it would be a much better world if everyone followed His commandments and lived by His instructions? Wouldn’t you like it if everyone treated you as you’d like to be treated?

Imagine if a real estate development advertised that a new community was selling houses only to loving people, absolutely committed to doing unto others as they would like to have done to them. None of the houses would have door locks. There wouldn’t be police departments or jails, for all of such issues would be resolved in love and consideration. You wouldn’t have to pay councilmen to tell you what you could do and couldn’t do—no one telling you that you cannot put up a nativity scene at Christmastime on public property. No one enforcing that you cannot sing Christmas carols in the public schools. It costs a lot of money to hire people to enforce such rules. That’s why our taxes are so high. I would be the first to sign up to buy a house in that community.

And yet the media is obsessed with portraying how horrible it would be if we lived by Christian principles. “Oh my, Christians might try to impose their value system on everyone. They will teach our children that they shouldn’t fight, that they shouldn’t cheat, that they shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage. And they would probably want to outlaw pornography, adultery, and alcohol. Christians might even impose censorship! They wouldn’t allow rap groups to have graphic lyrics and foul language in their songs. Oh, my! We would probably have to spend time with the family. We couldn’t hang out all night and drink beer at the nightclubs.” Can you imagine how things would be if Christians had their way in society? What a concept!

– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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