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Living With The Enemy (2 of 3)
Series: Sermon On Mount
Open: Clarence Darrow, the famed criminal lawyer once joked: "Everyone is a potential murderer. I have not killed anyone - but I frequently get satisfaction out of obituary notices."
Apply: Now, why would we find that humorous? We find it funny because it comes so close to the truth.
Of all the things Jesus commanded, loving our enemies is perhaps the most difficult.
• I MAY NOT love God like I should, but I'm determined to get a handle on it.
• I many not love my wife the way I should, but I intend to work at it.
• I may not love my neighbor as I should - but I have nothing against trying.
BUT, love my enemy?
How many of you have had enemies?
How many of you would find it difficult to love them?
OF COURSE YOU have difficulty loving them… they're your enemies!! If you could love them, they wouldn't be your enemies anymore, now would they?
• They've hurt you
• They've spoken out against you
• They've threatened your self worth, your standing in community, your finances, your job
• They've subjected you to mental cruelty and perhaps even caused you bodily harm
I don't want to love these people…
AND YET, Jesus says… "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."(vs 27-28)
I. Now I have to admit, my favorite way of thinking about my enemies is summed up in Romans 12:19 "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."
In Deuteronomy 32:35 God tells us: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them."
OR as II Thess 1:6 so quaintly puts it: "God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.
I LIKE THAT! But, now, let's be honest… that's not really "loving my enemy" ...
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