by Frank Pollard

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Matthew 5:43-37
Open your Bible and read with me from Matthew 5:43-47. These
are some of the heaviest words Jesus ever spoke. Yet, because He
spoke them, we must listen. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love
your friends, hate your enemies.' But now I tell you: love your
enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become
the sons of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sunrto shine on bad
and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those
who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who
love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to
your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the
pagans do that!" (Matthew 5:43-47 TEV).
You and I are made to love and to be loved. Love is the one thing
we really need. The Bible tells us we are made like God, made in His
image. Our heartbeat here is at least a feeble echo of His heartbeat
there. We are made like God. What is God like? He is love.
In Charles Shultz book entitled I Need All The Friends I Can Get,
Charlie Brown says to Lucy, "I don't have any friends... .I don't have
one single person I can call a friend." 1ucy says, "Define 'Friend'!"
Then a number of striking definitions of frienl are given.:
"A friend is someone who will take the side with the sun in his
eyes." (He has a tennis racquet in his hand and is loo0tik across the
"A friend is someone who's willing to watch the program you want
to watch." (on T.V.)
"A friend is someone who can't stand the same sort of musilr you
can-.t stand."
"A friend is someone who sticks up for you when you're not there."
"A friend is someone who accepts you for what you are."
At that point Lucy says, I think you try too hard, Charlie Brown.. .Be
like me, I don't need any friends.. .I'm self-sufficient!"
"Not me..." he says, "I need all the friends I can get! I'd
even settle for a 'fair-we ...

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