Blessing Enemies 4/27/14 Brian Becker a/k/a Abu William - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Blessing Enemies 4/27/14 Brian Becker a/k/a Abu William

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  1. BlessingEnemies4/27/14Brian Becker a/k/a Abu William بارك الله فيكوشكرا

  2. God’s story about me Raised in the church Prodigal son for 25 years (enemy of God) Embraced by God through Jesus Christ in 2004 Ongoing prejudices/hatred towards groups of people Friend’s brother killed in a car bombing Oct 2013: Called by God to “go to Iraq” Experienced God’s passion for reaching all people in all places through Christ Prejudice/hatred replaced with love and grace and compassion

  3. God tells us to love and forgive • We are to love all people • Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:33b) • We are to forgive others like God has forgiven us (including those who are persecuting us) • Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:34) • Doing what Jesus commands shows that we love Him • If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15)

  4. We are to love our enemies • Jesus tells us to actively love and bless our enemies, do good to them and pray for them • But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. (Luke 6:27-28) • Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. (Matt 5:44-45) • “enemy”: passive or active; adversary (opponent in a conflict or dispute); extremely unpleasant, hostile, obnoxious, disagreeable, hurtful (broad meaning)

  5. Saul the terrorist • Saul of Tarsus was an enemy/terrorist of the church • But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:3) • Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. (Acts 9:1) • [Saul] was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man (1 Timothy 1:13a) • Became Paul the evangelist

  6. No one is beyond God’s grace • We are allenemies of God until accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior • For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:10) (“enemies” is same root word as Matt 5:44 & Luke 6:27) • Jesus died for all people • This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. (1 Timothy 2:3-6b)

  7. First go and restore friendship… “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘ Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Firstgo and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:21-24) (“reconcile”: restore friendly relations)

  8. Take up your cross and follow Me… • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: • “When Christ calls a [person], he bids him come and die.” • Executed in concentration camp in 1945, shared Christ until his death. • Discussing Matt 5:21-26: • “The disciple must be entirely innocent of anger, because anger is an offense against both God and his neighbor…If we despise our brother, our worship is unreal…Not just the fact that I am angry, but the fact that there is somebody who has been hurt, damaged and disgraced by me…He who says he loves God and hates his brother is a liar…This is a hard way, but it is the way Jesus requires if we are to follow him. It is a way which brings much personal humiliation and insult, but it is indeed the way to him, our crucified Brother…

  9. Blessings in Iraq بارك الله فيكوشكرا Love overcoming fear Going to them/new friends Praying for terrorists Gifts delivered to refugees Listening to people’s stories Compassion for the people Worship service in Arabic Experiencing the gift of Jesus Christ who was freely given by God to all people Love triumphing over hatred