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04
Developing Kingdom Character - Love your enemy
February 4, 2016

Max Lucado, in his book The Applause of Heaven writes about a big, muscle-bound man named Daniel who was swindled by his own brother. He vowed that if he ever saw him again, he would break his neck. A few months later, Daniel became a Christian. Even so, he couldn't forgive his brother. One day, the inevitable encounter took place on a busy avenue. This is how Daniel described what happened:

“I saw him, but he didn't see me. I felt my fists clench and my face get hot. My initial impulse was to grab him around the throat and choke the life out of him. But as I looked into his face, my anger began to melt. For as I saw him, I saw the image of my father. I saw my father's eyes. I saw my father's look. I saw my father's expression. And as I saw my father in his face, my enemy once again became my brother.”

The brother found himself wrapped in those big arms—but in a hug. The two stood in the middle of the river of people and wept. Daniel's words bear repeating: "When I saw the image of my father in his face, my enemy became my brother."

Jesus told his followers in Matthew 5:43-48 to love their enemies and to pray for those who hurt them.  It is easy to love and bless someone who returns that blessing.  It is god like to love those who do not return the love.  An amazing thing happens when people choose to love instead of retaliating.  The cycle of violence and hate is broken.  What would have to happen in your heart in order for you to be able to pray for an enemy?   What might praying for your enemy change?  In what ways does a loving spirit demonstrate that we are God’s people?

pj
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