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LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, OUCH?
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Of all the commandments that may go against the nature of humankind, this one may cap the stack! But Jesus kept it right through His crucifixion. His dying words were, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) And later Stephen prayed the same prayer as he was stoned to death, "Lay not this sin to their charge." (Acts 7:60) It is real, and it is binding on those who follow Christ, even to this good day.
There are many verses in Holy Writ that deal with this subject which illustrate how vital and important the principle is: "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?" (Luke 44-47)
It's clear and plain, isn't it? Do we believe it enough to obey among the people with whom we share our lives? It might be the only way people will know that we are Christians since it is certainly not generally practiced. Do we dare to be different? It certainly doesn't come easily to those of us who mix and mingle every day in a world that would laugh us to scorn if we behaved in this manner. There would be a catalog of unflattering tags attached to us, maybe even among our very own brothers and sisters in Christ. It's difficult and costly, but Christ, our Supreme Example, left bloody footsteps all the way to the cross. It is certainly not easy, but it is indelibly written in the Holy Bible, and the reward promised is out of this world. The choice is ours; it rests inevitably on our shoulders.
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
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