Jesus said to “love our enemies”. Pastor T.D. Jakes, Bishop Harry Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give us a perspective of what this looks like
If one were to ask ten different people what love is, we may get ten different answers. Jesus simply said to love our enemies. It is important to know what exactly Jesus meant by ‘love’ and how we are to do that.
If someone were to ask ‘who do we love?’, we can look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:43-48 to get an understanding of what He meant:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Now that we know the “who” that Jesus was talking about, what does it look like to “love”? Paul writes specifically about this in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
How powerful are these very words? Imagine if we walked out each of our lives from the revelation of this love and the purpose of loving others? This is exactly how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walked out his life. The purpose and driving force of his actions were so driven by love, he wanted to make sure those that were marching alongside him were walking in agreement. He wrote out ten specific commitments that each person had to abide by.
Even amidst the most severe opposition, Dr. King resolved that he would love his enemies. As Dr. King’s sister-in-law, Naomi King, shares, she knew that this was the moment that he was destined to be the man that he became. It was through the many life experiences that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. experienced that he was able to pen the very letter written from the Birmingham Jail; the very jail cell that he was sent to for peaceably demonstrating against the injustice that was taking place in Birmingham, Alabama.
It is vitally important that we recognize the heart and manner that Dr. King lived his life. It may have been a previous generation that Dr. King lived, but what Dr. King experienced in his life, many are still experiencing today. When Will Fordwas given a night vision, he was shown what implications this has on today’s generation.
In this encounter, Ford was headed to a morning service. But, he first had to stop and pick up Dr. King at a particular home. As he pulls up, Dr. King walks out with a white duffle bag with black handles. As Ford describes it, “he starts emptying all this dark garbage out of the duffle bag and then he throws the bag down violently.” In this encounter, Ford continued to reach down to pick up the bag but was stopped as Dr. King grabbed his shoulders. “NO! Do not go back and pick that up!” Ford was then told about what to do to heal the racial issue in America.
Only being able to respond with tears, Ford could only pray and continue to ask God what it meant. Then the interpretation came from the Lord. “It’s the white bag and it’s the black handles. This is how your generation of blacks, African Americans, have handled your white baggage. You’ve been carrying it for way too long.” The Lord continued to speak to Ford, “Get rid of your bitterness. Get rid of your unforgiveness. Get rid of your guilt manipulation. Get rid of your white baggage so that we can all get into this new vehicle that’s gonna bring revival and justice for everybody.”
Love is not simply an idea but the very way that we should live our lives. We each must seek out the Lord to know His individual plan and will is for each of us. All the principles of men will fail. It’s only God’s principles that are going to work out. Be encouraged as you hear the full story on the importance of love, what love looks like in our lives, how to love those around us, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Alveda King, Bishop Harry Jackson, abiding, sacrifice, Civil Christianity, controversy, progress, revival, and hope.
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