Galena Sentinel Times

Pastor Cody: Kingdom-Minded People Love as Christ Loved

Read Matthew 5:43-48

Have you ever struggled with loving someone? I’m not talking about within a marriage, though there is a lot of difficulty in that. This is not that kind of reflection though. I’m talking about loving that person who you can’t stand, who do whatever they can to annoy you, hurt you, or is toxic. Also, there are those people who don’t see you or your actions as loving. Instead, they tell everyone else that you are harmful and hateful. How do we love someone like that? How do we break through the walls of ignorance and deception and show Christ-like love to them? Our passage for this week will help us.

Biblical love is not what the “world” defines or sees as love. Jesus is preaching His largest sermon in the gospels, the Sermon on the Mount. In our section, He just finished discussing who kingdom-minded people are; they are those listed in Matt. 5:1-12. He ends this section by explaining what is required of these kingdom-minded individuals (that’s those of us who claim to follow Him). In Matt. 5:43, Jesus says the culture around them says to love people like themselves and hate those who don’t fit in. Then, Jesus comes against this idea and teaches us that we should love those who don’t fit in. English only has one word for love while Greek has way too many to list. What’s important here is the understanding that this word Jesus uses for love is a verb form of the noun used for who God is. In other words, Jesus tells us that the kind of love we should be showing is one that comes directly from God. This is a love we cannot make on our own. This is a love that describes and showcases our character as Christians. Here, Jesus teaches us that how we do that is to pray for them. You love those who are toxic, or annoying by praying for them. Paul says that by loving this way, you are “[H]eaping fiery coals on [their] head” (Romans 12:20b, CSB). May you go this week showing the love of Christ to everyone, no matter who they might be or where they might be from.

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