Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
We cannot love God and hate a person at the same time. These two opposites cannot dwell in a human heart. The spirit God has given to His believing children through faith in Christ is a spirit of love, but a hater is a murderer because he kills someone with a slow death.
God wants us to love everyone just as He has. This doesn't mean God requires us to have a feeling of affection for everyone. Often we are not even fond of ourselves. Loving our enemy doesn't mean that we must think of her as an agreeable person. This should be a great relief to us.
Even as we look at some things in ourselves with horror and shame, so we hate a person's actions, but not the person. As we hate our own cowardice, selfishness, conceit, greed, lust, and pride and still go on loving ourselves, so we should do the same for others. We are to feel sorrow for their evil and pray for their repentance. We are to love everyone, even though there is nothing lovable about them. When we find that difficult, let us remember that is what Christ has done for us. Some may not seem deserving of our love, but neither are we deserving of Christ's love. Let us love one another.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for the love You showed us and help us reflect that some forgiving love to others; for Jesus' sake. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)