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Loving Our Enemies

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
February 11, 2024 7:00 pm

Loving Our Enemies

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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February 11, 2024 7:00 pm

With the American Civil War spawning many bitter feelings, Abraham Lincoln saw fit to speak a kind word about the South. A shocked bystander asked how he could do so. He replied, “Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Reflecting on those words a century later, Martin Luther King, Jr., commented, “This is the power of redemptive love.”

In calling disciples of Christ to love their enemies, King looked to the teachings of Jesus. He noted that although believers might struggle to love those who persecute them, this love grows out of “a consistent and total surrender to God.” When we love in this way, King continued, we’ll know God and experience the beauty of His holiness.

King referenced Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44–45). Jesus counseled against the conventional wisdom of the day of loving only one’s neighbors and hating one’s enemies. Instead, God the Father gives His children the strength to love those who oppose them.

It might feel impossible to love our enemies, but as we look to God for help, He’ll answer our prayers. He provides the courage to embrace this radical practice of His kingdom, for as Jesus said, “with God all things are possible” (19:26).

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I'm Amy Boucher-Pye, and I called our reading, Loving Our Enemies. With the American Civil War spawning many bitter feelings, Abraham Lincoln saw fit to speak a kind word about the South.

A shocked bystander asked how he could do so. He replied, Madam, do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends? Reflecting on those words a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. commented, This is the power of redemptive love. In calling disciples of Christ to love their enemies, King looked to the teachings of Jesus. He noted that although believers might struggle to love those who persecute them, this love grows out of a consistent and total surrender to God.

When we love in this way, King continued, we'll know God and experience the beauty of His holiness. King referenced Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in which he said, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Jesus counseled against the conventional wisdom of the day of loving only one's neighbors and hating one's enemies. Instead, God the Father gives His children the strength to love those who oppose them. It may feel impossible to love our enemies, but as we look to God for help, He'll answer our prayers. He gives the courage to embrace this radical practice, for as Jesus said, With God all things are possible.

Today's passage from the Bible is from Matthew chapter 5 verses 43 through 48. 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 Son 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. Join me in praying, Loving God, you've made us and you've made those who hurt us in your image. Help us to see them as you do, and help us, Lord, to extend your love and your grace to them. We pray in the holy name of Jesus. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-11 20:26:33 / 2024-02-11 20:28:03 / 2

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