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THE CALL TO RADICAL LOVE

As born-again believers, we’re called to love radically.

But what does that mean?

Jesus summed it up as loving our enemies, which means to pray for them and bless them and treat them as we would want to be treated, regardless of the circumstances.

Regardless of the circumstances.

It sounds so simple, but it’s actually the hardest thing in the world to do.

Lucky for us, Jesus showed us how to do it. Instead of berating Judas when he knew Judas was betraying him, Jesus embraced him and spoke kindly to him. Instead of cursing the people who were tormenting and ridiculing him at his crucifixion, Jesus prayed to God to forgive them. These are examples of radical love, and Jesus provided these examples to us so that we would follow them, regardless of the circumstances.

Regardless of the circumstances.

Stephen followed Jesus’ example of radical love when he prayed for the men stoning him to death. Peter and John also followed Jesus’ example by praying for their guards when they were in prison, and by choosing to remain imprisoned when they had the opportunity to escape (as they knew their escape would mean a death sentence for the guards).

We, as followers of Jesus, have an excellent opportunity right now to love radically by praying for those who support the taking away of our civil rights. We shouldn’t curse or oppose those people; we should pray for them and treat them kindly. This is what Jesus taught us to do, so this what we should do.

If we, as God’s children, don’t pray for them, who will?

Protesting is not prayer. Blasting horns at all hours of the day and night is not treating others as you’d want to be treated. That is the world’s way of dealing with things, but it shouldn’t be our way. We are called to love radically and to follow Jesus. When we instead follow the world by protesting, we are joining forces with the descendants of Barabbas. We are not loving our enemies when we protest; we are hating them and blaming them for our problems.

The only call to arms we should be responding to is the call to extend our arms in prayer and to spiritually embrace those who hate us. This is the radical love that born-again believers are called to practice every day, regardless of the circumstances. We are not called to protest, we are not called to point fingers of blame, we are not called to join forces with those who hate their enemies – we’re called to love our enemies radically, against our first gut instinct, and by the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

This is our mission as born-again followers of Jesus. This is our calling. If you’re having trouble doing it, you need to repent, get down on your face, and pray.


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