Love Your Enemies

by | Jan 19, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

When I was in a concentration camp during World War II,
we had to stand every day for two or three hours for roll call, often
in the icy-cold wind. Once a woman guard used these hours to
demonstrate her cruelty. I could hardly bear to see and hear what
happened in front of me.

Suddenly a skylark started to sing high in the sky. We
all looked up, and when I looked to the sky and listened to its song, I
looked still higher and thought of Psalm 103:11: “For as the heavens
are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those
who fear Him” (RSV).

Instantly I saw that this love of God was a greater
reality than the cruelty I experienced myself and saw around me. “Oh
the love of God, how deep and great, far deeper than man’s deepest
hate.”

In His mercy, God sent that skylark every day for three
weeks, just at the time of roll call, to give us an opportunity to turn
away our eyes from the cruelty of men to the ocean of His love.

God’s love is both a protection and a weapon. It guards us against impatience, against bitterness, against gloating. It is also a very strong weapon in the battle to win souls, for it never gives in.

It looks for a way of being constructive, it is glad when
truth prevails. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its
trust, no fading of its hope: It can outlast anything. It is, in fact,
the one thing that stands when all else has fallen (see 1 Cor. 13).

How do we get that strong love? The Holy Spirit is the one who gives it to us (see Rom. 5:5).

We must look to Him particularly when we are faced with
the challenge of loving our enemies. Jesus commanded His disciples,
“‘Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who
hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you’”
(Matt. 5:44, NKJV).

But this is impossible unless God Himself gives us the love that He demands from us.

In Africa I visited the cell of a young man who was
sentenced to death. His hands were chained, and his dark skin had many
red wounds, caused by lashes.

The cell was absolutely empty; only a plank on the floor,
and high up in the wall a very little window. The prisoner looked very
healthy and strong. The tragedy that this man had to die overwhelmed me.

I sat down beside him and prayed for a word from the
Lord. I asked, “Have you ever heard of the cross of Jesus Christ, where
He carried the sins of the whole world—also your sins?”

He nodded.

“Do you believe in Jesus Christ, that He will be your Saviour too?”

“Yes, I love Him, but I have not always been faithful.
Politics has taken up my time and attention completely, but now I have
brought all my sins to Jesus. He has forgiven me. If I should live any
longer, then I will serve Him with all my life.”

“Have you forgiven the people who have brought you here, who will have your death on their conscience?”

“No, I hate them.”

“I can understand that. I will tell you one of my experiences.

“During the war in Holland, I helped to save Jewish
people because Hitler wanted to kill them. One day a man came to me who
told me that his wife also helped the Jews and that now she had been
arrested.

‘She is in the police station and probably she will be
put to death. Now there is a policeman who is willing to let her escape
if we pay him 600 guilders, but I have no money.’

‘I can help you,’ I said. ‘Come back in an hour.’

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Charisma Highlights: Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Following are snippets of the top stories posted on charismamag.com over the past week. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full. Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are...

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your family This Thanksgiving

This month we are entering a season which, in the United States, has been devoted to gratitude and thanksgiving for 400 years! While the Thanksgiving holiday has had a long and varied history within the United States, the practice of devoting sacrificial offerings,...

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

Don’t Let Ungratefulness Turn You Into a Spoiled American

My frequent trips to developing nations always help me adjust my attitude. Just when I start to feel spoiled and entitled, I meet people from places like Congo, India and Honduras—and I realize just how blessed I am. This happened to me again last week during a trip...

The Power of Being Thankful

The Power of Being Thankful

One of the best ways to show God we love Him is to be thankful. When we express our deep gratitude to Him, it actually invites His presence onto our lives. Being thankful also neutralizes the enemy and brings victory into our situations no matter what the outcome....

Get Off Your Pew!

Get Off Your Pew!

As God’s clock inches closer to the final hour before His return, many people find themselves filled with angst, anxiety and despair. People are not sleeping well, many have fallen into depression and are feeling hopeless. These are the very days that we have been...

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

The Great Commission Can Set Us Free from Responsibility

Read Time: 4 Minutes 28 Seconds While all of the stories we read in the Torah are meaningful, sometimes the events we read about can seem to hold more relevance, especially for those of us who are followers of Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. One such event is the calling...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Church’s Role in Preserving Freedom of Speech in America

Read Time: 3 Minutes 17 Seconds The controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving and his post of a tweet that claims the Jews in Israel are not the real Jews—that Black Africans are the real Jews—raises...
Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Count Your Blessings, For God Indeed is Good

Read Time: 4 Minutes 42 Seconds Thanksgiving Day is just a few days away for U.S. Americans. It is a favorite holiday—perhaps only exceeded by Christmas—to gather with family and friends to watch parades, play (American) “football” and eat delicious food—often from...

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

Is Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFbfS03JkKY&t=1s Read Time: 3 Minutes, 10 Seconds Is it possible that behind the pearly gates of heaven there are murderers, pedophiles and cannibals walking along the streets of gold? We are taught in the book of Romans, "That if...

Pin It on Pinterest