The kind of love that God asks of you is pretty hard: He asks you to love EVERYONE.

“The spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

The first thing the Holy Spirit works in you is love. That sounds super easy, doesn’t it? Love. I love loving people.

Except that God asks you to do a hard kind of love—love everyone. Jesus was talking to a huge crowd of people when he told them, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward?” (Matthew 5:43-46).

Jesus is asking them, “You want a medal for loving your best friend or for loving your parents?” Sorry, that’s not hard. Jesus says, “Love those who are mean to you. Love those who mock you. Love those teachers who make fun of you for your faith. Love the friends who think you are dumb for loving Jesus.”

How? To be honest, you can’t do this on your own, but remember that you are walking with the Holy Spirit. He helps you see your enemies through God’s eyes: people who are lost, hurting, misguided; people who believe lies. Through Jesus’ eyes you can see them as loveless people who need to be shown love. Through the Holy Spirit’s strength, you can love.

That makes you different; that shows you are God’s child.

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