Let’s celebrate 14 Days of Love as we approach Valentine’s Day with Bible verses about love.

In the past two days we learned about Loving God and loving others.  Today’s verses teach us that we’re to love our enemies, too!

DAYS 4 & 5: Words of Jesus:  “But if you are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you.  Pray for those who hurt you.”   – Luke 6:27-28

Jesus  goes on to say, “Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you?  Even sinners do that!  And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful?  Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that?  Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return.

     Love your enemies! Do good to them!  And don’t be concerned that they might not repay.  Then your reward from heaven will be very great and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked.  You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.   – Luke 6:32-36

I admit, it doesn’t come naturally to find love in my heart for those who oppose me or offend me.  However, responding from a place of love in my heart HAS made a difference when I’ve managed to do so.

I recall a situation that happened at church, of all places.  The Bible said to love our enemies, so when my mind started having unChristian thoughts because of others, I made myself pray for those who angered me.  A funny thing happened.  During the first few days I prayed for them, my heart started softening toward them.  I did not condone their actions, but I was able let go of the hard feelings I felt toward them.  Within days I was praying for blessings for them and really meaning it!

The first words I ever heard God speak to me were these, “Just keep loving her.”  He spoke those words in response to my prayers about someone who had upset me so much that I was starting to resent them.  I wanted to confront that person, so I prayed and asked God how I should do so.  His response was not what I expected!  He didn’t tell me how to confront her.  He told me to keep loving her!  Father knew best.  I kept my negative thoughts and actions to myself, and loved her instead.  In His wisdom, God took care of the matter Himself.  Because I kept loving her, we became close again and are still loving and close to this day.

My situations were nothing, though, compared to what one of my doctors experienced.  He’s an army doctor who was sent overseas (Afganistan?) and assigned to treat the enemy, the wounded soldiers our guys captured.  His duty was to save the lives of those who had killed his fellow soldiers, and who often wanted to kill him, too.  I asked if it was hard to give treatment to enemy soldiers.  He admitted it was and said every time he was confronted by his thoughts, he reminded himself that the Bible says to love our enemies.  So, he said, he loved his enemies by giving them medical treatment.

Read the verses again.  Think about times in your past when you were faced with enemies and responded with anger, mallice, and maybe even hatred.   What did you do in response to your feelings?  How might things have been different if you responded with love?

Can you recall a time you responded with love?  How did that go?

Responding in love might not always bring about changes with the other person, but it will bring about positive changes in our heart, and loving our enemy will definitely bring a good and favorable response from God.

Now read the verses again, this time thinking about Jesus.  He experienced hurt, hatred and persecution from others, and yet He loved His enemies anyway.  We still persecute Jesus today when we turn away from Him or deny Him, and yet He loves us anyway.