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Love Your Enemies

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously. “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Matthew 5:38-48 The Message (MSG) Jesus talked radical love! And He not only talked the talk, He walked the walk straight to Calvary. He left no question about how those who follow Him should behave or even think. When we question which of our sins He gave His life for, not loving the God who loves everyone and not loving each other without condition tops the list. It's a hard task, but Christ took it to the limit and when we believe in Him and what He did to save us, the least we can do is try. It isn't really that complicated. It's called "grace." We love to receive grace but we have a really hard time remembering all the grace that we receive daily when it's time for us to be gracious with someone else. God brings rain on the good and the bad. Who are we to discriminate when we are all so broken? God will handle His business. He sees it all It may take every ounce of strength we think we possess on our own to accomplish the goals Jesus set out for us according to the Word of God to love the unlovable and resist the impulse to get even with those who hurt us. However, when we truly believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, we don't have to worry about how weak or strong we are in our ability to do what He says. We have His power and might through the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts as we follow Jesus Christ. Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. 1 John 4:4

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