Praying Through the Bible #113
TEXT: Matthew 5:43-47
In the year 1818, Tamatoe, the king of a tribe of one of the South Sea Islands, became a Christian. Some other members of his tribe became Christians as well. Soon thereafter, he discovered a plot among his fellow natives to capture him and the other converts and burn them to death. In response, he organized a band to attack the plotters. When he captured them, however, he set a feast before them. This unexpected kindness surprised the savages so much that they burned their idols and became Christians.
This king's example is a picture of the kind of response a follower of Jesus Christ ought to have to his or her enemies. And, yes, you will have enemies, you will have haters, you will have people who just don't like you for various and sundry reasons. But as a Christian, you are commanded to love them, to do good to them, and to pray for them.
We've just come off of another bruising election season, and some of you here in America may have negative feelings because the candidate or party you supported didn't win. You may not like who is in control of the U.S. Senate or the House of Representatives. You may not like the new governor of your state. What does the Bible tell us to do for those who are our governmental leaders whether we agree with them or disagree with them? The Bible tells us that we ought to pray for them.
Today, as we move into our first New Testament passage on prayer in this Praying Through the Bible series, that is what we want to talk about -- why we ought to pray for our enemies.
We ought to pray for our enemies because, by doing so, we honor God's will above our desires. Jesus Christ points out the common human perspective when he says to his listeners, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy..."
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