Daily Word of Grace # 83 (July 9, 2020)

One of my heroes, Martin Luther King Jr., preached a sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama on November 17, 1957 entitled “Loving Your Enemies”, a powerful sermon about Jesus’ command from the Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45).  This is one of the most difficult commands Jesus ever gave, but also one of the most important, for as Dr. King preached: “This command is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization.  Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even for enemies….Jesus realized that it’s difficult to love those persons who seek to defeat you, those persons who say evil things about you.  He realized that it was painfully heard, pressingly heard.  But he wasn’t playing” (A Knock at Midnight, 42).  Jesus did much more than preach about this, he actually did it, even at the cost of his life on Good Friday.  It is Jesus’ love for his enemies that saves you and me: “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:10).  As you know, Dr. King also did much more than preach about this, he also did it at the cost of his life as he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  And yet God’s love for all of us remains true, and does what Dr. King preached, “It is love that will save our world and our civilization.”

Love and Prayers,