by Steve Wagers

This content is part of a series.

How to Love when You are Unloved (8 of 16)
Series: The Constitution of Christianity
Pastor Steve N. Wagers
Matthew 5: 43-48

1. Tough Love Identified!
A) Someone who Hates Us
B) Someone who Hurts Us
2. Tangible Love Personified!
A) Unconditionally
B) Unnaturally
3. True Love Amplified!
A) The Façade that is Unmasked
B) The Father that is Unveiled

In Matthew 5:20 Jesus began to offer 6 object lessons with one premise:
"That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

The following illustrations regarding reconciling relationships between brothers, adultery, divorce, lying, murder all served the purpose to teach how the righteousness of a true Christ follower will exceed the righteousness of a scribe or Pharisee. Today, we come to the sixth of these illustrations, regarding our enemies, and how we are to love when we are unloved.

Someone has written:

To dwell above with the saints in love,
That will indeed be glory;
To dwell below with the saints we know,
Well, that's another story.

A preacher in his Sunday sermon preached on "Forgiving Your Enemies." After his sermon he asked how many were willing to forgive their enemies. About half held up their hands. Not satisfied he rehashed some of his sermon for another twenty minutes and repeated his question. This time he received a response of about 80 percent. Still unsatisfied, he lectured for another 15 minutes and repeated his question. With all thoughts now on Sunday dinner, all responded except one elderly lady in the rear. "Mrs. Jones, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?" he asked. "I don't have any" she said. The preacher looked at her and said, "Mrs. Jones that is very unusual. How old are you?" She replied, "Ninety three." "Mrs. Jones," said the preacher, "please come down in front and tell the congregation how a person can live to be ninety-three, and not have an enemy in ...

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