Love Your Waodoni

43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. ~ Matthew 5:43-48

There’s a true story of five men who went into the jungle of Ecuador in order to witness to the Waodoni people, who had never heard the good news of Jesus. Each of the five men left behind wives and children. They died at the hands of those they were witnesses to. Their wives and children then came to witness to those same people who had killed them. Those men who killed those five missionaries found Jesus. The son of one of the men became like a son to the man who killed his father. He explained that his father and the other four men didn’t get to enjoy their children or grandchildren, but for the first time in Waodoni history, there are many grandfathers. Those five men willingly gave their lives so that an entire people might hear and accept the good news of Jesus Christ.

How many of us are willing to give our lives to save another? Even more so, how many of us are willing to forgive someone for a small transgression, let alone taking the life of your parent or spouse? Many of us would find this nearly impossible to do, but this is what we are all called to do. We are all called to love. We are all called to forgive. We are all called to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. That is the universal overall call of every single believer.

How many of us miss out on sharing the gospel with someone because they’ve offended us or they’ve mistreated us or someone we love? Turning the other cheek and loving our enemies is one of, if not the hardest, commands we are given to follow. It’s through this that they will know we are followers of Christ. By our love. Our life isn’t our own. We are now a vessel for God to use to save the world. For how can they know if someone doesn’t tell them?

Dear LORD, please forgive me for not sharing Your Gospel the way I should. Soften my heart so that I might love my neighbor as myself and even my enemy. Humble me and fill me with love so that I might turn the other cheek regardless of what is done to me. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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