Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Title: Love Your Enemy
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Very often we find what Jesus commanded us to do is such a tall order, hard to obey, and almost impossible to accomplish. In these verses, Jesus is calling us not just to forgive our enemies, but to love our enemies and pray for them. We might forgive and even do some nice things for our enemies but with no genuine desire for things to go well with them. Jesus instructed us that we ‘Must be’ perfect for ‘our’ Father in Heaven is perfect. He calls us to embrace those who are against us and help to supply their needs, pray for them and wish them well, and to express those desires in prayers, even when the enemies are nowhere around. If we had faced brutal enemies of the worst kind in our life, we would understand that it is not easy at all to forgive, not to mention loving them. However, if we look at examples of our Lord Jesus, our brothers Stephen and apostle Paul, and many other saints who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel, their faith and walk in Christ would encourage us to do the same.
We would want our enemies to receive salvation and desire them to come to know God, and be truly transformed by God into Christ-likeness. May God give us strength to pray like apostle Paul for the Israelites – many of whom had caused a lot of pain to him, but he prayed for them, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved (Romans 10:1).” Praying for our enemies is one of the deepest forms of love we can accord to them and it is in line with our obedience to God – our action simply means that we come before God who knows our heart to commit our enemy’s wellbeing to Him.
This is what Jesus said as he was hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)”. Stephen did the same as he was being stoned – Falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them! (Acts 7:60)”.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending Jesus Christ – your one and only begotten Son into the world to save us from eternal death so that we can be with Him in heaven. Thank you for giving us the marvelous privilege to be your children and we can call you ‘Abba Father’. Help us to follow our Lord Jesus Christ’s example, to live lives in obedience to you, and to love others including our enemies – the way He loves them. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
很多时候，我们发现耶稣命令我们要做的事情是一项如此艰巨的任务，很难服从，并且几乎不可能完成。在这些经文中，耶稣呼召我们不仅要宽恕我们的仇敌，而且要爱我们的仇敌并为他们祈祷。我们可能会宽恕甚至为我们的仇敌做一些好事，但并非真诚地希望他们一切顺利。耶稣教导我们，我们 “要” 完全，因为我们的天父是完全的。祂呼召我们要欣然接受那些反对我们的人，帮助供应他们的需要，为他们祈祷，祝福他们，并在祈祷中表达这些愿望，即使仇敌不在身边。如果我们曾面对生命中最残酷的仇敌，我们将理解到宽恕是一件完全不容易的事，更不用说爱他们了。然而，若我们看看我们的主耶稣、我们的弟兄司提反和使徒保罗，以及其他许多为福音而献出生命的圣徒的榜样，他们的信心和在基督里的行为将会鼓励我们效法他们。
我们想要我们的仇敌得到救恩，并希望他们认识上帝，真正被上帝转化成基督的样式。愿上帝赐我们力量，像使徒保罗为以色列人祷告一样 – 以色列人中有许多给他造成了极大的痛苦，但他仍为他们祈祷：“弟兄们，我心里所愿的，向神所求的，是要以色列人得救。（罗马书10;1）” 为我们的仇敌祷告是我们可以给予他们最深切的爱的形式之一，这与我们对上帝的顺服是一致的 – 我们的举动仅只意味着我们来到知道我们内心的上帝面前，将仇敌的福祉交托于上帝。
这就是耶稣被挂在十字架上时所说的：“父阿！赦免他们；因为他们所做的，他们不晓得。（路加福音23：34）”。司提反被扔着石头时也是如此 – 他跪下，大声喊着说：“主啊，不要将这罪归於他们！（使徒行传7：60）”。
感谢祢差遣耶稣基督 – 祢的独生儿子来到世上，拯救我们免于永恒的死亡，让我们得以与祂一起在天堂。感谢祢赐予我们奇妙的权柄得以称为祢的儿女，使我们能够称祢为 “阿爸父”。求祢帮助我们晓得跟随主耶稣基督的榜样，活出顺服祢的生命，并爱别人，包括我们的仇敌 – 就像祂爱他们一样。奉耶稣的名字，阿门。