31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
I remember listening to sermons as a child concerning these verses. The message usually taught was how to love others the way God does. And honestly, I can't seem to search out anything different that that.
In these words, Jesus is teaching us exactly how He loves us, and exactly how He expects us to treat others. With loving, merciful, kindness. We are never to forget how much we have been forgiven, how much God has truly blessed us.
The one warning I give is this - verse 38 - many many people read this verse and expect riches to fall down from the sky if they are generous. But that is not necessarily true. God doesn't think in monetary value the way we do. What often is given to us is intangible, and yet so worth it. Often what is given to us when we truly give out of a loving spirit, is more than happiness, and difficult to explain.
Challenge for the day: Live this way, truly. I know for me, my grace and patience can run out early, especially on days like today when it is shopping day, it's rainy, and my kids are already in rare form. But I strive to love them with God's love, because my own could never be enough.
And that's another important lesson to take away: We can't truly love people without God's help. We may be able to on our own for a little bit, but it takes God's mercy and grace flowing through us to truly love someone no matter what.
Very, very good reminders. Love your last sentence in particular. Thank you!
It is so hard to love this way! Especially our enemy.
I really liked Matt Chandler's clarification on this bit....
Right here, do unto others as you would want done to you if you were in the same scenario as them. So here’s what I mean. If you were outside of the grace of God, you were outside of the forgiveness of God, you were outside of the love of God, how would you want believing men and women to respond to you in order that you might see the gospel clearly in them? If we battle not against flesh and blood, then we have no human enemies. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you were the one outside.
Now, I’m glad He doesn’t just stop there. He’s going to give an explanation of the command, and I’m unbelievably grateful that He does. Now before we do this, I want to clarify something here. This is how we are as believers to love our enemies, those outside of the kingdom. Now, this is not how we love those who are believers. Those who are believers are to be engaged, disciplined, confronted and if need be, thrown out of fellowship for their refusal to submit to the commands of Christ. Do you understand that? And that in itself is an act of love in the hope that they might repent and come back. So don’t take what He just said and unpack it onto believers who refuse to be obedient to what the Scriptures command of them and say, “I’ll do whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t have to submit to Christ or anyone.” Because that’s two different animals. I wish I could go into that in a lot more detail, but you don’t want me to. Now I eventually will, because Corinthians is very, very clear. In fact, in the book of Corinthians, Paul goes on a tirade about the arrogance of the Corinthian church of allowing a so-called believer to stay in their midst who is currently sleeping with his father’s wife. And they were like, “Well, grace will just have to cover that. I mean, what are we going to do? Who are we to call him out?” Paul’s like, “You’re the church. Call him out. It’s your pride that makes you not call him out.” Anyway, that’s a whole sermon for free; I don’t have time.
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