Jesus instructed His disciples, on multiple occasions, how they were to conduct themselves in the presence of sinners. He stressed often that their standard of living should differ from those who refused to walk after godly principles, because they also represented the Father, as He did. Sin and its demonic influence has altered how God defines love, and how men are to treat each other on the earth. For this reason, believers are to live in such a way, that the world can witness the nature of God through their lives. The world has heard of God, and many have read of Him in Scripture, but they can easily see Him through the way believers carry themselves.
In my previous lessons, I mentioned that the most powerful thing humans hold in their possession is choice, and the most coveted attribute of godliness is love. When we choose to love, we initiate a series of events that will open doors by which we can be fruitful, and prosperous for God’s Kingdom. For example, when we love our enemies, not only do we obey God’s command, but we create a situation where those who once despised our God, could possibly have a change of heart. There are times when men will wish evil upon us, and use us in ways that only benefit themselves, but Christ commanded us to bless and pray for them regardless of their selfish motives.
Christians are to extend love in all areas of their lives, including giving. We are to be wise in our giving, but not hold back from those in need, especially from our enemies. We are to also give freely from our hearts, not expecting anything in return. How many people have you run into who refuse to give, unless they know you’ll pay them back? As believers, our motives and intentions differ greatly from the world’s. We treat others the way we wish to be treated, knowing that God loves all men, and desires that they will someday give their hearts to Him. The world holds grudges, remembers faults, and uses past instances for selfish reasons, but the children of God operate in love and mercy, as their Father in Heaven does, and they easily forget hurts, faults, and continues to do good despite how they’ve been treated. At times it seems unfair that we have to endure suffering and persecution, but when I consider all the things Christ went through, yet continued to love and forgive, I get inspired to love even the more. “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).
Walk in love,