Thursday, January 5, 2017

Love Divine

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus began teaching in the most interesting way.  He introduces his hearers to subject matter that reaches into the heart, instructing us to look at circumstances and situations as though we were looking through the eyes of God.  Examples are given that cause us to see God's way of looking at the issues.  "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."  Another will teach us the importance of us being like "salt and light" in the world.

One seemingly strange teaching from that sermon is found in Matthew 5:43-45:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven."

Loving our neighbor and hating our enemies seems to be the normal response.  It's so easy for us to comprehend. But remember, in this section of scripture, we are looking at things through the eyes of God.  He would have us understand and practice his will of actually showing love to all.  Another principle that becomes easily understood is that when we show love to our enemies, perhaps they will not remain our enemies. Our actions will spring from a fountain of unselfishness, when love leads us where we are accustomed to rarely going.  That is when we are demonstrating the proof of our faith.

One of our songwriters has written:

Love divine, all love excelling, joy of Heaven to earth come down.
Fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.

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