Posted by: stpowen | December 28, 2013

How to Love your Enemy

Matthew 5:43-45.  “You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sone of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”

Over the Christmas period, at the request of Mrs. Marprelate, I have been tidying up my study.  Hidden away in various cupboards, I have found a number of back numbers of sundry Christian magazines.  I may post about some of them later, but today I’d like to share a remarkable testimony from a Russian Gideon which appeared in the Gideon News of Autumn 2000.

Once I was invited to a very special celebration. There was a party for our military people. There were very beautiful tables with wonderful food and I was sitting near a very nice man, Alexander Walker. He was very kind and very friendly and he was very interesting for me because he was the warden of the big prison.

We were speaking about the Lord and he told me about his problems, then he told me, “Dimitry, I would like to introduce you to one special person. He worked in the prison for 30 years as an executioner.”

So we came to this skinny man, bald with a red face. It was his job to kill people. Every day for 30 years he was doing his job. And maybe once his victim was my grandfather, or my wife’s grandfather, or some of my aunts and uncles.

I wasn’t able to look at his face because I saw the face of my grandfather. I wasn’t able to speak to him because a lot of swear words were running into my mouth. I wasn’t able to shake his hand, I was afraid that I would beat him.

I was praying to the Lord and I asked the Lord to put love into the heart towards this man whom I hated so much. Then I remembered that I am a Gideon and he is a military man and so I can start my Bible distribution. I always have a Bible with me so I took my Bible from my bag and I gave this Bible to this man.

“What is this?” He asked. He opened it and read ‘New Testament and Psalms.’ I explained to him that the New Testament is part of the Bible and I told him about Jesus Christ, salvation, foregiveness and love. But I myself wasn’t able to love him and I wasn’t able to forgive this executioner. But now he understood that he had been killing innocent people, because now everyone knew that during the Soviet time, a lot of Christians were executed in the prisons. They were not criminals but normal Russian people.

I wasn’t really very happy to speak to him but I felt that this is something I have to do. And then he told me that he understands that he is a terrible sinner. “But how can I be forgiven?” He asked.

I told him about two thieves who were crucified near the Lord; I told him about the prayer in the New Testament and he asked me to pray with him. So I led him in this prayer. We prayed together and I was asking the Lord to save him., to be his Saviour and to forgive him and he was repeating word after word after me.

When we finished our prayer,I looked into his eyes and I saw that they were wet. Then he shook my hand and we hugged each other. I don’t know what is happening in his heart. I hope he was sincere in his prayer, I hope that he received salvation.I hope that he is saved and one day we will all be together with this man and with my grandfather and with many other people sitting near the Lord.

It is still very difficult for me to understand, but it was a great lesson for me. I am very thankful that the Lord had chosen me as His instrument for bringing this man to the Lord. It is very easy to love good people, but it is difficult to love our enemies. It is so difficult to love executioners, murderers, killers, guilty people. But this is what our Lord is asking us to do.

Let’s pray for our enemies, let’s pray for stupid governers, let’s pray for murderers and let’s try to give them our Gideon Bibles.

So, with this thought in mind, let’s pray for those two young Moslems who murdered the soldier, Lee Rigby, and let’s pray that they find a Gideon Bible in prison, and read it, and find the Saviour.  Let’s pray for the islamists and our stupid politicians and the abortioners and all those who hate God and let’s try to bring them the word of life.  

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