You know how you can read a Bible verse and you just glide over it, and then you come back and you read it again, or you hear it from a pulpit, and a light bulb goes off and you just get blown away? Well that happened today!
Matthew 5:43-48Amplified Bible (AMP)
43 You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy;
44 But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 [a]To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that?
47 And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete [b]maturity of godliness in mind and character, [c]having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
If I want to be perfect as my FATHER is...then I have to not just love people who love me back, I have to show love to those who treat me like dirt!
Jesus has to do it for me.
God calls us to something here in verse 48, CHRIST has set an unattainable standard, but this is what the law demands. ( James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. )
Though this standard is impossible to meet, God could not and would not lower it without compromising. But this is why the Gospel is so important! Christ did something on our behalf that we could never achieved, and as a result we are the benefactor to eternal life, and HIS perfection is imputed or assigned to us. How awesome is that??
So as a result of us being FORGIVEN of much...we should be willing to FORGIVE other people of much!
When we forgive and show love to people that 'don't deserve it' we are more like Jesus than we realize! How cool is that!!?? When this happens we can find true fulfillment!