Change of Heart

(Image by Kranich17 from Pixabay)

“…love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Listen to my song “Make Me a Channel” on YouTube by clicking HERE.

Support my ministry by purchasing my songs and books at the links following the scripture reflection below. Thank you!

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Matthew 5:43-45

Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”

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How does a person love their enemies?

This is a very direct teaching by Jesus and yet it is roundly ignored.

I can’t remember if I have ever actually heard someone preach on this scripture.

To love the person who may be seeking to do you harm, or who may have done you harm, is seemingly impossible.

And yet, that is exactly what Jesus commands his followers to do.

It seems to me that the only way to be able to love your enemies, is to first realize that God loves you when you are at your worst.

You must experience that God looks upon you as the beloved, when you least deserve it.

I have had that experience.

When I least merited love, I have received it.

I could take no credit for it.

It was pure Grace.

This kind of love is transforming.

It’s when I knew that I knew that I knew that I was unconditionally loved by a Higher Power.

It was then that I realized that this same Source of Love also looks upon even my worst enemy as the beloved.

Jesus gave us the ultimate example of loving our enemies when he forgave his killers from the cross, when they had not even asked for forgiveness.

If the brutal persecutor of Christians named Saul had been killed, we would never have known his powerful writings after he became known as Paul.

Compassion and forgiveness transformed him.

So, first of all, know that in your weakness and failings, you are loved infinitely by God.

Ruminate on this.

Allow it to warm your heart.

God wants this for all people.

Be this same love to others – especially those who least deserve it.

That doesn’t mean that you should submit yourself to abuse.

No! Stand for truth and justice.

But allow your zeal to be tempered and filtered through a loving heart.

This is the only way that God’s kingdom can come about in this place and time.

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Listen to the song of the day “Make Me a Channel” on the Listen to Your Heart album by clicking HERE.

Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.

Purchase my new book “Listen to Your Heart: A Daily Devotional of Calling, Purpose and New Life” on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Purchase my book “Mercy Reigns: A Daily Devotional of Compassion, Comfort and Healing” on Amazon by clicking HERE.

Remember: God loves you!

About billtonnis

Child of God, Pastoral Minister, Chaplain, Music Minister, Jail Minister, singer-songwriter, author, activist, former radio news anchor, imperfect follower of Jesus inspired by God's unconditional love, proud uncle... what else is there?
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