In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus gave these commands:
In these difficult times, that passage may be easier for us to stomach than the following one:
Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)
“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, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
We are blessed to live in a time of trial and tribulation. Yes, I did say blessed! In this time of pandemic-enforced isolation, violence, rioting, businesses failing daily, and more; we must look for ways to truly love our neighbors – and our enemies. What an opportunity we have to live out these guidelines that Jesus gave his disciples. Guidelines about how to model the Christian walk before unbelievers in this desperate and fallen world.
I believe this truly is a time of trial and testing for God’s people. We are being tested according to His principles. When we look back with 20/20 hindsight, will we be seen as being loving?
Pastor Bill Ritchey