Love My Enemy. But Why? By Mayada Naami

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mathew 5: 43-48, NIV)

As Russia invaded Ukraine last week, we can ask ourselves how can we love our enemies? And why? The answer is simple because Jesus chose to die on the cross for His enemies. The greatest act of love and sacrifice that ever was. We, as a people, were the enemy of Christ and yet He loved us and chose to forgive us. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NIV)

During these tumultuous times, it seems impossible to love our enemies. It is critical that we extend love to others especially now when our world is suffering. To love God is the greatest commandment, and to love one another is the second. It is the trademark of all Christians. It is a decision or a choice to love one another. An act of will that lays aside self and extends itself to lifting each other up. God does not put limitations on who He loves or how He loves. As Christians, we need to reflect the love of God outwardly for the world to see Jesus in us. Things such as anger, fear and unforgiveness have no place in our lives when we love each other the way Jesus loves us. When love is allowed to reign in our hearts, we reflect the Prince of Peace. As the love of God through Christ grows within us, the body of Christ grows with Jesus as the Head and the Heart. What a beautiful picture! Praying for Ukraine and Russia and for world peace.

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:15-21, NIV)

Dear LORD, we pray for peace in Ukraine and for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to listen to You and make wise decisions. We pray for You to supernaturally protect the people of Ukraine and for the leader of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy to also hear Your Voice We pray against loss of life and a resolution to this current conflict. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

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