May 17, 2014

matthew5-44

Matthew 5:43-48

The movie “Hotel Rwanda” depicts one of the most vivid examples of enemies. Based on the true story of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and Burundi, it shows what may be considered the “worst” of human nature. The Hutu ethnic group determined to wipe out the Tutsi ethnic group because of their hatred that eventually claimed over one million human lives. History shows that similar hostilities have happened in many parts of the world. Enmity is sometimes the result of a minor dispute: an argument between neighbors, a family feud, or even a disagreement in a congregational meeting.

Jesus says, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matt 5: 44) Jesus modeled this love for enemies. He came to the world for God’s enemies through sin. On the cross, he called on his Father to forgive his enemies, “for they do not know what they do.” And through his death and resurrection, he reconciled God’s enemies to him.

We, too, can love and forgive like Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts and gives us power to forgive our enemies—those who have wronged us in both small and big ways.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, by the power of your  Holy Spirit, help me to love and forgive others, as your Son, Jesus Christ, loved and forgave those who persecuted him. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Stéphane Kalonji,
Pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church in New Bern, NC.

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2 Responses to May 17, 2014

  1. Susan Struck says:

    Once again, Christians are taught to respond differently than the way the world would tell us we should. Great post!

  2. Danny Ward says:

    Thank you for these words. I preached on forgiveness last Sunday evening 05/11/14. That was difficult for me because of so many years of holding onto bitterness against others. I pray daily that God gives me the compassion to continue and to practice what I preach. Our society teaches against forgiveness and the church often is molded by society.

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