“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”- Matthew 5:43-48
In my lifetime, I have met very few people who actually love others by the standard of love I have read in the Word of God. I have met few people who have the capacity to sincerely and unconditionally love others in the midst of anger, disappointments, and differences.
Seems that, even in the churches today, this standard of love is missing.
I believe that is why the body of Christ is suffering and false religions are growing at alarming pace, as they deceive the lost with a perception of such love.
What does Jesus mean when he says “love”?
He is talking about how we treat others, in spite of how we feel about them at any given time. He is talking about the love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit and power of the Living God when we are filled with the Holy Spirit walk in communion with Jesus Christ day in and day out (Romans 5:5,6)
Only God can produce this kind of love in a sinner.
The Bible says: ” Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all of things, endures all things. Love never ends.”- I Cor. 13:4-8
Everyone ought to be treated with the dignity of having been made in the image of God, no matter what that person is like and no matter how different he or she is from us, in terms of what they believe or how they live.
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God ( II Corinthians 5:19-21).
It is ONLY through unconditional, godly love for others that we can legitimately say we are ambassadors of Christ.
Loving others just because they believe as we do makes us ambassadors of ourselves.