The Limits of Love: Love Your Enemies (Lk 6:27-31; Mt 5:43-48)
Is this not the hardest of all of Jesus’ commands, to “love your enemies”? As if learning to love – God with all we are, and our neighbours as ourselves – didn’t already stretch us to the breaking point. But then Jesus moves the limits we want to place around love to the farthest reaches of our faith. Every bit of the hardness in us refuses and resists the idea of extending love to those who hate us and seek our harm. We want to do to them as they do to us, not as we would have them do. Jesus’ radical redefinition of the scope of love demands a new heart, a heart of flesh purged of hardness.
David Parker is Pastor Emeritus of Desert Vineyard. He’s dedicated his life to building communities of faith focused on the needs of those outside their doors, with hearts open to growth through teaching that makes the Bible relevant and revelatory in contemporary life.
Only God Makes Individuals (and They’re Powerful)
Jesus says that to be healthy and influential, we must be in the world but not of it. He worked very hard at this himself and provides a wonderfully practical model for how to do it in intense times. Only God makes actual individuals – free from the world, and therefore powerful in the Spirit, for the sake of a hurting and fearful planet.
Dr Jordan Seng is the lead pastor of Bluewater Mission, a creative, justice-oriented church in Honolulu. He is the author of Miracle Work: A Down-to-Earth-Guide to Supernatural Ministries, and the forthcoming Life of Try.
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