Loving like God
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
Kids make their parents happy and proud when they behave according to their parents’ expectations; when they do well at school or perform well in the play or at the field, when they help others without the parents having to tell them to help.
Our faith or belief in Jesus makes us children of God. John 1:12; Gal.3:26; 1 john 3:1-2 Therefore, if God is our Father, then he expects his children to act in ways that resemble his character. There are kids who look and behave like their parents and people would say, wow, he or she is just like their father.
Have you ever thought about this when it comes to our heavenly Father? When and how do you resemble God?
Last week we talked about that we are to walk in a manner worthy of the call. In a way that pleases God.
In the sermon on the mountain Jesus teaches us how to live or behave in ways that resemble our heavenly Father. Matthew 5-7 Jesus highlights how God’s children are to act.
Matt.5:1-10 the beatitudes, the standard for a kingdom person. Children of God are -known for being peace maker. Matt.5:9
-Let their light shine Matt.5:16
All throughout his teaching on the mountain, Jesus let us know what is expected of us as sons and daughters of God. Matt.5:43-48
You 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 sons of your Father in heaven. (v.43)
Luke added doing good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27
What is Jesus calling his people here? To love impartially. To love those that don’t like you. By loving this way, we are imitating God.
When we do these things we act like true children of God. We resemble the character and nature of God. (so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven).
God our Father loves impartially.
-He causes the sun to rise on good people and evil people. He sends the rain on both the righteous and the wicked. (v.45) God does not discriminate with his love and generosity. And his people shouldn’t either.
If you love only those who love you what reward will you get? Even tax collectors and sinners love those who love them. This does not impress God.
If you only greet those who greet you what are you doing more than others? Even pagans do that. Jesus is letting us know that there is no discrimination when it comes to loving people and being generous. Love does not discriminate it by loving some and not others, or by greeting some people and not others. This is not God’s standard for his children. We are to love like God loves; without an agenda. Love impartially or without favoritism.
As God’s children we forsake our calling to live and behave in a way that is pleasing to God when we show partiality in our dealing with people. We deny the very nature, and character of God in us. There is not resemblance between us and him. We don’t look or behave like our Father.
(v.48) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Don’t let that word perfect frighten you. (it means: complete, wholeness)
How could you be perfect according to God’s standard? By doing what he calls us to do. So that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
You are perfect in God’s eye when you love people without prejudice. This being perfect is in the context of what Jesus talked about love. Your love is imperfect when you only love those who love you or greet those who greet you. Jesus is calling us to love without prejudice or partiality, just the same way God loves people.
Let me give you another example of the word perfect in the context. Matt.19:16-21 Jesus told a person how he could be perfect in God’s eyes. The rich young ruler. If you want to be perfect (complete, whole) go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.
Could people see God’s resemblance, his image in how you love people? In how gracious and generous you are?
Kids make their parents proud when they behave and act in a way that resembles the parents’ standards and character.
When Jesus was baptized, God the Father spoke and said that he thought about the Son.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt.3:17
Will God say that about you, about us today? This is my beloved Son, my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased.
He will say it when we love the way he has shown us.