Summary: Let’s talk about love

Text: Matthew 5:43-48

Subject: Love

Theme: Love your enemies.

Prop: To be like God, we are to love even our enemies.

T.S. We will look at reasons for Christ command for his followers to love their enemies.


A story in the Sunshine Magazine about a professor of psychology illustrates how difficult it is to love others. Although he had no children of his own, whenever he saw a neighbor scolding a child for some wrongdoing, he would say, "You should love your boy, not punish him." One hot summer afternoon the professor was doing some repair work on a concrete driveway leading to his garage. Tired out after several hours of work, he laid down the towel, wiped the perspiration from his forehead, and started toward the house. Just then out of the corner of his eye he saw a mischievous little boy putting his foot into the fresh cement. He rushed over, grabbed him, and was about to spank him severely when a neighbor leaned from a window and said, "Watch it, Professor! Don’t you remember? You must ’love’ the child!" At this, he yelled back furiously, "I do love him in the abstract but not in the concrete!"

Talk about the difficulty of loving all people.

T.S. We will look at reasons for Christ command for his followers to love their enemies.


A. The religious leaders twisted the scripture to fit into their sinful way of life.

B. Look at the way they treated people with whom they did not like. The story of the “Good Samaritan”.

C. The hate your enemy was not in the O.T. passage quoted. Leviticus 19:18


A. Love your enemy.

1. Show good will towards.

a. A little girl one day went to her mother to show some fruit that had been given her. "Your friend," said the mother, "has been very kind."

"Yes," said the child. "She gave me more than these; but I have given some away." The mother inquired to whom she had given them. She answered, "I gave them to a girl who pushes me off the path, and makes faces at me."

When asked why she gave them to her, she replied, "Because I thought it would make her know that I wish to be kind to her, and she will not, perhaps, be so rude and unkind to me again."

ROMANS 12:17-18 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

2. LUKE 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

a. Bless means to speak well of them. READ PROVERBS 25:21-22.

b. In our relationships with others, often what passes for love is little more than a neat business transaction. People are kind to us, so we repay them with equal consideration. When they treat us unjustly, our negative response is really what they asked for. Everything is so balanced, so fair, so logical with this eye-for-an- eye and tooth-for-a-tooth kind of justice. But Christian love never settles for only what’s reasonable. It insists on giving mercy as well as justice. It breaks the chain of logical reactions.

General Robert E. Lee was asked what he thought of a fellow officer in the Confederate Army who had made some derogatory remarks about him. Lee rated him as being very satisfactory. The person who asked the question seemed perplexed.

"General," he said, "I guess you don’t know what he’s been saying about you."

"I know," answered Lee. "But I was asked my opinion of him, not his opinion of me!"

B. Pray for you enemies.

1. We are to pray for them. Not to zap them into hell.

2. ACTS 7:60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep.

3. LUKE 23:34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

4. In events following the tragic bombing in Oklahoma City, anger often was met with love, even among Christians grappling with both. Callers swamped Oklahoma City radio talk shows. Those callers who insisted that the perpetrators be shot on sight were followed by others who pleaded for prayers for the bombers’ salvation. The desire to forgive rather than seek revenge, which was expressed by many people in the Bible-Belt city, impressed reporters. An atheist told a local pastor he had never experienced such love.

 National and International Religion Report, Vol. 9:10, May 1, 1995, p. 1.

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