Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:1-7
When it says speak evil of no men, how many men can you speak evil of? When it says showing meekness to all men, is that meekness that you show to some that you like? God wants us to love with the same kind of love that he loved us with.
The enemy wants Christians to get hatred in their heart when they are going through hard times or when he is coming after them. The enemy may come after you through people. It isn’t the people that we hate; it is the actions that we hate. We have to love the soul. Every one of us was ugly in sin. Our heart was ugly. After the love of God and kindness towards men appeared to us, it changed us when we were willing to repent. Where it says love your enemies, it is the same kind of love that God has for his enemy. The only way that we can have it is to be saved and then be filled with the love of God in sanctification. If you still have a carnal heart, you may be saved, but there will be times when that carnality will rise up and want its own way. There will be things of the flesh that come out, little attitudes here and little attitudes there. You will need to repent of them. God wants there to not be any wrong attitudes coming out of the heart because it is a pure heart where the love of God has filled it.
When Abraham Lincoln was running for president, there was a man that ran around the country saying unkind things about him. Sometimes the man would even talk about his looks saying; you don’t want a tall, lanky, ignorant man like this to be president of the United States.
Finally, one day Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States, then came the time for him to choose a Secretary of War. He looked across the nation, and decided to choose a man by the name of Mr. Stanton. And when Abraham Lincoln stood around his advisors and mentioned this fact, they said to him: "Mr. Lincoln, are you a fool? Do you know what Mr. Stanton has been saying about you? Do you know what he has done, tried to do to you? Do you know that he has tried to defeat you on every hand? Do you know that, Mr. Lincoln? Did you read all of those derogatory statements that he made about you?" Abraham Lincoln stood before the advisors around him and said: "Oh yes, I know about it; I read about it; I’ve heard him myself. But after looking over the country, I find that he is the best man for the job."
Mr. Stanton did become Secretary of War, and a few months later, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. And if you go to Washington, you will discover that one of the greatest words or statements ever made by, about Abraham Lincoln was made about this man Stanton. If Abraham Lincoln had held a grudge and hated Mr. Stanton for what he had said about him and done to him, he would have gone to his grave hating. If Mr. Stanton hadn’t had the love of Abraham Lincoln shown to him, he would have still hated Lincoln. Because Abraham Lincoln was willing to forgive him and say that he was still the best man for the Secretary of War job and he wanted him, they became friends and worked together real well. Mr. Stanton was won over to be a friend of Abraham Lincoln. How do you work when people say a lot of things about you? Our attitude is vitally important. What God is looking for is sons and daughters that show the same kind of love that he has.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35
The only way that the world is going to see that we are different and our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes is if we have love one to another but also love for the world. Love for those that hate us, love for those that despitefully use us, isn’t that what he is asking us, those that persecute us? But, if we have the same attitude as what the world does, they are not going to know that there is a difference because there isn’t any difference. We’ve got to show that there is a difference by our attitude towards those that are despitefully using us, those that are hating us, those that are persecuting us.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:44-48
It is vitally important for you to pray for your enemies. Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. When you are at work or there are family members that you are having problems with, you need to be on your knees praying for them. You shouldn’t be praying for God to send fire down on them. You should be praying that God would somehow deal with them. Our ultimate goal is for them to get salvation. Isn’t that our ultimate goal?