Jan 17 Love, Do Good and Lend

Luke 6:35, “But love~~ your enemies, and do good~~, and lend~~, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.”

Some commands have immediate benefits, while others have eternal consequences. If we are obedient to these three commands, we are promised a “great” reward from God Himself. We will be rewarded because we have chosen to behave like God Himself, who “is kind to ungrateful and evil people.”

The three commands are present imperatives: they are meant to be continual or habitual actions of Jesus’s followers. Christians are unique because they are to “love [their] enemies.” Because “love” in this case is not an emotional sensation of affection but a commitment to care enough to benefit another, then this command is an action to be done, not a feeling to be felt.

If the Bible meant it to be an emotion, the opposite would be hate. On the other hand, if love is an action verb, then the opposite is selfishness. Defining who is the beneficiary of the actions draws the line: in selfish actions, I am the beneficiary, and in loving actions, others are always the beneficiaries.

Now it is a possible command to obey with the empowerment or filling of a believer’s Spirit. We cannot feel warmly toward those we despise, but we can decide to benefit the “ungrateful and evil people” in our lives. If it is the “goodness of God that leads to repentance” (Rom 2:4), why can’t we add that “the goodness of believers” should lead sinners to trust in their God?

If the command to “love your enemies” is somewhat generic, the command to “do good” is a specific clarification of what love is to do. Then the command “lend, expecting nothing back” is even more specific.

If you ever give money to someone whom you care about, forget all hope or expectation of ever recuperating those funds. In your mind, think of it as a gift and let it go. People matter more than your money.

The killer of all relationships is selfishness, such as demanding your rights, seeking personal gratification, believing in the importance of personal needs being met by someone else, or seeking to get even. Do we really want to be like God, or do we prefer His selfish, self–centered, and self–serving enemy, Satan?

“Lord, teach me to be like You in caring more about winning the hearts of other undeserving people to Your gracious and generous love.”


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