“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous[….]Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-45, 48 (NIV)
While Rich, Peter, and the FFICM team were training in Northern Nigeria on this last trip, they spent three hours listening to the stories of Muslim background believers about their experiences, in order to better understand how to support them and reach out to others like them. One MBB had just received Christ 2 weeks ago and was being followed up by someone that we trained. He looked scared as he spoke; many MBBs in the area are beaten and threatened with death. He said that what drew him to Christ was watching the life of his friend in the village, he was confused and deeply impacted by the fact that this man was kind to even strangers and enemies. So one day, he asked his friend why he did this. The man answered him, “it is because of my Christian faith”. The former Muslim believer said that this caused him to believe in his heart that Christianity was better than Islam, and he believed in Jesus.
We praise God for the hearts of fellow Christians like this man’s friend, filled with the Spirit of our heavenly Father, loving enemies and strangers. May God grant us each the grace to love those around us like this man, that they may know the depth of the Father’s love for them and no longer be strangers or enemies, but brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus!