I have already posted this to my Facebook feed, but I decided to post it as today's blog as well.
These words of Jesus convict me every time I read them.
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous," (Matthew 5:43-45).
Loving my enemy is difficult to do without God's help. And to be able to muster up a prayer has to be from God. It's possible, though. Stephen did it. As his enemies stoned him to death, he prayed "Lord, do not hold this sin against them," (Acts 7:60, ESV). Saul/Paul stood by and helped kill Stephen and heard him pray this prayer. Then, soon after, Saul/Paul was converted to the Gospel Stephen had given his life preaching about.
I say I am Apostolic -- like the Apostles. Though it is not the only Apostolic identifyer, being like Stephen was in his final moments is Apostolic. I'm not like Stephen. I have not mastered loving and praying for my enemies like Stephen, and I haven't suffered at the hands of my enemies like Stephen suffered at the hands of his. But according to Jesus' words, if I don't love and pray for my enemies, I'm not a child of God. And if I don't, I'm definitely not Apostolic or even a Christian.
I want to be a child of God, and I want to be who I say I am -- an Apostolic Christian. I am asking the Lord to fill me with His Spirit again, today, so I can love and pray for my enemies.