Our Father in heaven is always completely loving. He is fully mature – perfect – in love. Our heavenly Father always chooses our highest good, even when we reject Him or treat Him badly. “God is love” (1John 4:8) and “God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). There are many more verses in the Bible that confirm God’s faithful and unchanging lovingkindness toward us.
Jesus commands us to “be perfect” in loving our enemies, just as God is perfect in loving His enemies. In Matthew 5, Jesus even gives real-life situations of how this truth can be applied in our daily lives:
- Do not take vengeance or strike back at those who abuse you (vs.38,39). This can be confirmed in Romans 12:19, where it is clear that judgment is God’s responsibility.
- Go beyond what people might demand of you and do even more for them (vs.40-42). God promises that as we give, He will give back to us even more (Luke 6:38).
- We are to love all people, even our enemies. We do this by praying for them, forgiving them, and blessing them even when they are unkind (vs.43-47). This radical, God-inspired kind of love will let the whole world know that we are true followers of Christ (John 13:35).
A DILIGENT WORKER
Here we have taken a difficult passage of Scripture and more clearly opened its true meaning. We also looked at the surrounding verses, and confirmed the truth with additional verses from the Bible. Yes, it took time to study the Scriptures, research and prepare. It takes a diligent worker to rightly teach God’s truth (2Tim 2:15).
This also demonstrates how you can both teach the truths of the Word of God, and help people know what is expected of them in response. They can then be more than just hearers of God’s Word, but doers also! (Jas 1:22-25).
The Word of God is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12). The Word of God brings conviction of sin. Knowing the Word of God and understanding how to apply it helps one to live in obedience to God. It also gives one a usable knowledge of the truth (1Tim 2:4).
c. Teach People The Work To Do (Ex 18:20)
Most of the people who left Egypt with Moses were Jewish by race. However, they were not a unified nation or body of people. They were more like the Jews of Jesus’ day, “weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matt 9:36).
It was from this desperate, selfish, sinful group that God wanted to build a covenant people. They were to become a special people who would walk with God as a nation, and the instrument through which He would bring the Messiah.