Lately, as I've been spending time reading the bible, I've been coming across several verses pertaining to "Brotherly Love." No matter what I chose to read, or tried to avoid, verses speaking of loving one another kept popping up! The two verses that stood out the most to me were:
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another" - 1 John 4:11
& The Imperative of Love 1 John 3:10-15 "
I never really understood God's purpose for us to love everyone. When God says, everyone, He meant EVERYONE - including the wicked people in the world (but, not satan of course.) Because, I am a believer of Christ, I abide in His Word and I love everyone. But, it wasn't until recently that I gained an understanding of what I was believing. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" Luke 23:34. OMG! my compassion on others instantly grew! No matter how evil some people can be, they are just being deceived greatly by the devil. Not even the devil worshippers know exactly what satan's evil plans are. Jesus came into this world and died for ALL! As Christians, we need to stop judging sinners, because we once were sinners too. Not one person is worthy enough of entering the kingdom of Heaven. But, thanks be to God, that He judges His Son Jesus and not us. Through Jesus Christ alone we can be renewed in Him and have salvation. God's commandments summed up into one are "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" - Galatians 5:14. Instead of wishing bad on our enemies, we ought to love them. Recently, God told me to pray over those who persecute me instead of dwelling on the bad things about them. Now a load has been lifted from my shoulders; I can now be at peace about them, still find a way to love them and not give the devil any authority that he can use against me. The devil can certainly use strife against us because it gives him power over us. We need to cast down everything that doesn't line up with the Word of God and make it obey (2 Corinthians 1:3-6) and think on things that are pure (Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:2). Stop giving the devil authority to have you disobeying God's commandment to LOVE!
After all, we aren't fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places as written in Ephesians 6:12. satan uses people just as Jesus rebuked Peter, He was speaking to satan and not Peter because Peter was influenced by satan when he said what he said in Mark 8 and Matthew 16. When people become evil they are simply under the influence of the enemy. We are to love them so that they can see Jesus through us. We're in a spiritual war! And once you realize that, you'll learn to love people like Jesus commanded us to. It's not about us but about God. He loves us all and doesn't want to see any of us influenced by the enemy to not have a relationship with The Lord.
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, no willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
God doesn't want ANY SOUL to perish which includes the evil people of this world. He wants all to repent (turn completely away from our sins) so that we can be reconciled to Him. Just as we were once lost, and living sinful lives, there are still millions of people who are lost. When we only ove Christians, what good does that do? Jesus came to seek the lost sheep (Matthew 18:11, Luke 19:10.) Instead of condemning we need to bring others to Christ. We can't let our pride and selfishness get in the way of anyone's salvation. Our enemies may persecute us but are our problems bigger than the salvation of our brothers? No matter what someone may have done to us, we have to forgive because God forgave us! All sin is equal right…? So how can our sins be any less than the sins of another? Jesus died for ALL of our sins! All of our filthy sins deserve for us ALL to be in Hell. But, thanks be to Jesus that He died for ours sins. "For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3:16-17.
Though, God hates our filthy sins, He loves each and every one of us! Because we're of God and are born again through His Son, we MUST love one another too! Forgive those who do wrong to you because Jesus does the same. We can't love Jesus and hate our brother. We have to love each other and show them Jesus!
Through, this recent revelation that God has given me, He kept me in the Book of 1 John which I highly recommend that you study. God bless you! I love you! And Jesus loves you! ♥
More bible verses about loving our enemies: http://www.openbible.info/topics/loving_your_enemy