The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

12/29/2008

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Love Our Enemies - Now This Is The Hard One


"But I say to you...Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).

This is perhaps the most difficult teaching about love....Love your enemies..It goes against everything in us that seems to make sense. Some time ago, my oldest son and I had a "political discussion." He is very astute in this area and reads voraciously. His conclusion is that Abraham Lincoln was our greatest president. Who am I to argue with my oldest son?

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, in her inciteful book, "Team of Rivals," shows Lincoln as a man free from vengeance when he named William Seward, Salomon P. Chase, and Edward Bates to his cabinet. The significance? All of these men wanted to be the president. During the campaign, in an effort to gain the nomination, they were all extremely scornful and downright mean and hateful in speaking about Lincoln.

When elected, instead of seeking revenge, he named them all to important posts in his cabinet. (Sec. of State, Sec. of Treasury, Attorney General) Regardless of what they had said about him, Lincoln put his country ahead of anything personal. These men became trusted advisors during a critical time in the history of our country.

After the assassination of Lincoln, Seward, who was also a target, said about Lincoln, "He is a man for the ages." According to Jesus even those extremists who are enemies of our country need our prayers. It is a difficult teaching, but here are the words of the apostle John. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."(1 John 4:8)

Jesus teaching in Matthew chapter five explains His desire for us. If you have time today, read verses 43 to 48. "If you love only those who love you, what reward will you get?" This is a difficult concept that will enrich our lives.

Have a great week....Make a difference....Love mark Phil. 4:11

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