Love Your Enemies
What is love? What does Kingdom-love look like? How are we as Kingdom-citizens supposed to love? In this week's teaching we are called to consider Jesus' teaching on loving our enemies. As we consider His words and how we as Kingdom-citizens are to live, we must each examine our hearts and pray that the Holy Spirit would convict us of any hate or contempt that we may be harboring towards anyone. We must also submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit's leading in how He calls and enables us to actively, and intentionally love those whom our flesh would rather hate.
[Read Matthew 5:43-48 together and then discuss the following:]
1. Compare Leviticus 19:18 to Matthew 5:43. What are the differences between the two? What has been omitted? What has been added?
2. What are the implications of what Jesus is calling us to in Matthew 5:44-45?
3. What point is Jesus making in verses 46-47?
4. How can we as Kingdom-citizens achieve what Jesus calls for in verse 48?
From birth each one of us loves our self way too much. When we consider that, we see how it is easy and natural for us to hate others, or to dislike them so much that we want nothing to do with them. We are most suseptible to hate and bitterness when others do not love us the way we love ourselves. As Kingdom-citizens, we are each called to love everyone around us because God loves everyone and does not hold back His common grace despite the wickedness or sinfulness of individuals [Matt. 5:45b]. Furthermore, we need to be obedient to how the Holy Spirit is calling us to intentionally and actively love our brothers/sisters, neighbors, and those whom we'd rather not associate with. Living out that intentional, active love is Kingdom-citizenship.
1. Who are your brothers/sisters?
- Who are your neighbors?
- Who are your enemies?
2. Within the last week, how has the Holy Spirit been convicting you to love your brothers/sisters?
- How has the Holy Spirit been convicting you to love your neighbors?
- How has the Holy Spirit been convicting you to love your enemies?
3. How can you all as a community group walk alongside one another as you strive to be obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading in this?
4. Who has the Holy Spirit called you all as a community group to intentionally and actively love?
- What are you as a community group doing to obey the Holy Spirit's leading in this?