Main point summary
Don't love like the world. You must love like your heavenly Father who loves and prays for enemies and wants you to be rewarded and to stand out by being just like Him.
f “You have heard that it was said,
g ‘You shall love your neighbor
and hate your enemy.’
But I say to you,
i Love your enemies
and j pray for those who persecute you,
k 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 l sends rain
on the just and on the unjust.
m 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, 1
what more are you doing than others?
Do not even n the Gentiles do the same?
o You therefore must be p perfect,
q as your heavenly Father is perfect.
youv'e heard this: love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
on the other hand God says both love and pray for your enemies so you will be like your heavenly father.
because He suprisingly sends His good gifts of sun and rain on both good and bad.
Therefore if you leave out loving enemies and greeting them compared to unbelievers you are no different you dont stand out. What reward do you have? What are you doing more than others?
you need to be like your heavenly Father not like the unbeliever so you must be perfect in this way otherwise you are no different than the world.
Therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Mt. 19:21 Jesus says to the rich man if you would be perfect sell all you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and come follow me. In my preschool and kindergarten age Sunday school class we had one child, Ben, who brought in a backpack full of treasures from home. So many different kinds of cars and figurines. He shared them well as people arrived he let other boys handle them then we returned them all to him and enclosed them in the backpack. When this story came up. I said that what the rich man did in the story would've been like Ben's Mommy coming in to get him from Sunday school and Ben saying Mommy I don't want your care for me I would rather have my backpack of treasures than you forever. All the little ones grasped the gravity of that choice and knew that would be devastating. No one would've chosen to forsake their Mommy. They could trust their Mommy to give them care and other treasures in her wisdom. Here again is the choice to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. It can seem like a tall order. God says I want you to be rewarded I want you to stand out. This will happen if you love and pray for those who do wrong to you . If you say like Jesus Father forgive them for they know not what they do . Or Father do not hold this sin against them. Or Father you will repay vengeance is Mine You say. I can trust you. I will bless because I am going to inherit a blessing. This is harder for us because we think on the wrong treasure. For the rich man it was his possessions or the backpack in the analogy above. Why don't we love and pray for enemies? Because our focus is on our woundedness instead of on God. But God is like the Mommy who cares for us and the evil person. His ways are good and He is telling us we have a reward in heaven when we have His attitudes. He wants us to be imitators of God as beloved children. We belong to Him. We need to keep ourselves close to God and His word thinking after Him so we can act like Him. Its not just our thinking though ; Jesus said love and pray. He will do it through us. If anyone abides in Me and My words abide in Him ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you . By this is My Father glorified that you bear much fruit. You must be perfect. Jesus calls this a must. Is that what I call it? Lord have mercy on me and forgive me.