Napoleon Bonaparte was a conqueror who fought to unify Europe back in the 18th century. Near the end of his life, he said this: “Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have built great empires. But upon what did they depend? They depended upon force. But long ago, Jesus started an empire that depended on love; and even to this day, millions will die for him.” Yes, people die for Jesus because He is worthy. One radical truth He taught is that we should love even our enemies. Here are His words from Matthew 5, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven… If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Jesus’ disciple John added this: “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.” When we love as Jesus taught us, we will not always like what others do, but we love them because God loves us — despite our flaws. Loving others despite their faults benefits us, the other person, and delights the heart of God.
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