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Matthew 5:44 (KJV)
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Before Nneka became a believer in the Lord Jesus, she used to attend prayer vigils, and was a faithful follower of a particular prophet with whom she eventually had an immoral relationship. She attended those prayer vigils because she was aware that she had enemies, especially when her business started to ‘prosper’.

Her prayers were always that all her enemies would fall down and die. She would imagine them and insist that they die a painful death. She loved her friends and hated her enemies. But when she became a disciple of the Lord Jesus, she didn’t see the need to kill her human enemies but felt deep pity for them because she understood how elevated above them she was in Christ Jesus. She rather found that time and time again, she was compelled to pray for them, asking the Lord to have mercy on them and bring them to salvation. Because of this, some of them eventually became saved, but some of them who wouldn’t repent saw the severe vengeance judgment of the Lord.

The true gospel of the kingdom teaches us to love our enemies and pray for them, not kill them with our prayers. We are to do this not because we are overmuch good but because we know how elevated above them we are in Christ, and we understand that God is a better judge of every matter than us.

But today, there is a gospel that teaches believers to hate their enemies and kill them with the power of God at every opportunity. That gospel is not the true gospel of the kingdom, and it is incapable of raising disciples into maturity. If the Lord Jesus had subscribed to that ideology, He would have wiped out the entire human race because of the hatred and ungratefulness culminated in His crucifixion. There never would have been an apostle Paul because rather than pray for them, Stephen would have used his great spiritual power to place a potent bitter curse on all those who hated him to the point of orchestrating his murder, and Paul was chief among them.

Go into today examining the doctrines that guide your life and compare them with the truth of God’s Word.

Prayer: Ask the Lord to deliver you from everything that may be keeping you from the reality and power of the true gospel of the kingdom.

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—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible in one year: Psalms 27-29
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