Monday, February 25, 2013


"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor 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."  Matthew 5:43-44

Well, that kind of goes against our grain. Loving the people we like and hating those we don't, sure is a lot easier and seems to make much more sense. But Jesus calls us, commands us, to do the contrary thing, to take the unlikely action, to follow his example. Our enemy might be someone who hurt us or a loved one in some way. It might be someone we think is out to get us at the first opportunity. It might just be someone of a different nationality or religion, or someone who just rubs us the wrong way. Whatever the reason, whether real or imagined, we are called to pray for - not against - our enemies. Pray for blessing, pray for encouragement, pray for God's best. We might be amazed how God changes them, or more likely... us.

Lord, you know there are people that we just don't like. There are others who have hurt us. There are others who are just, simply put, bad people. But it is for these people you came and served and died. We were some of "these people." As we struggle to pray for our enemies, those who curse us, those who hate us, those who use us and persecute us, put within us a Christlike heart of compassion that not only prays, but sincerely desires to pray for them. May we truly desire your best for them. Because of the example of Jesus and for his sake. Amen.

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