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"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."
- Matthew 5:44
 
You might ask, "Who is my enemy?"  The person who has lied about me, or sown the seeds of strife among my friends and relatives, or the person who has beaten me out of hard-earned money.
 
Jesus says that I should love him, bless him, do good to him. He does not give me time to allow my feelings to cool off. He says: "Do it today before the sun sets." He is demanding the impossible. The wounds are too deeply rooted in my heart.
 
That is the voice of flesh and . . .

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you."
- Matthew 5:44
 
You might ask, "Who is my enemy?"  The person who has lied about me, or sown the seeds of strife among my friends and relatives, or the person who has beaten me out of hard-earned money.
 
Jesus says that I should love him, bless him, do good to him. He does not give me time to allow my feelings to cool off. He says: "Do it today before the sun sets." He is demanding the impossible. The wounds are too deeply rooted in my heart.
 
That is the voice of flesh and blood. But Jesus does not ask flesh and blood to do that which is beyond its powers. He appeals to the Christians as God's children. He says: "Pray for them." Pray to your Father in heaven, who "maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Pray in the name of Jesus, whose sensitive soul felt the full impact of insult, whose body quivered under the hammer blows at Calvary, but who, nevertheless, prayed: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
 
As we kneel in the persence of God, who so loved, so forgave, who daily forgives us our many sins, something happens. Power from on high takes hold of our stubborn hearts. Anger gives way to love; bitter thoughts and words give way to blessing.
 
Christian friends, Victory is achieved not only over self, but often also over the enemy. While enmity repaid with enmity widens the gap, love tends to lessen it and reunite the broken friendship.
 
It is easy to love one who loves in return,
There's no test of character, nothing to learn;
The real lesson comes when we follow Christ's call
To love those who'd rather see us take a fall.
 
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - The warmth of love can melt the heart of an enemy. 

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