The sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 5 contains some of Jesus’ most challenging teaching. God loves everyone in the world, both good and bad people. How do we know? Jesus offers one bit of evidence in Matthew 5:45: God causes the sun to shine and rain to fall not only on the good people but on the wicked and evil people despite their high level of wickedness and atrocities. Love is a simple word but very difficult to practice. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies, do good to people that hate us, pray for those who mistreat us, bless those that curse us, and forgive those who falsely accuse us (Matthew 4:44). These things are not easy humanly speaking to do but Jesus gave us one reason for doing so: that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. These things are the distinctive characteristics and true marks of the children of God.
It is very easy to love those who respect and treat you well but most times very difficult to love those who hate you and treat you badly. Hurts are the roots of bitterness and unforgiveness. As a human being you may have one time or the other struggled to let go and forgive when you are badly wounded and hurt by someone. As a child of God, there may be some experiences and encounters you had with some people where you suffered a real wound and you struggled to let go or to forgive even though you speak in tongues and preside over church services as a pastor. There are certain experiences you will have with people and then you will know whether you are a true child of God. Jesus said when you don’t retaliate tit for tat for wrongs done to you, then people will know you are a son of God. Forgiveness is a true mark of every son of God.
In our society today, evil and wicked people are everywhere. Evil people are wicked and devilish fellows; men who kill their children and wives; women who kill their husbands; people who will rob you of your hard earnings within a second and all that you have earned for years will just fizzle off; people who fabricate falsehood against you that you never imagined in life and people who don’t leave any stone unturned in order to stop your progress. If you take a look at the family members of some notorious men in our society, you will see they have beautiful children.
You may pause to ask why did God show them his love in spite of their wickedness? That is why He is God. In Matthew 5:44, the Bible says to pray for them, which despitefully use you, and persecute you. People who despitefully use you are people who injure you or cause harm, especially through malicious accusations. Nothing is as painful as a malicious accusation. God says you should pray for your accusers, do good unto them, and love them. One of my spiritual fathers said that when he read certain things in the Bible, he will ask God, is it because you are a spirit that you ask me to do these difficult things? The Bible said it when you obey Mathew 5:44, then you will be called a son of God.
•Today’s Nugget: Forgive those that Hurt You. Prayer: Lord take away every root of bitterness and unforgiveness.