Jesus says: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you!
[Jesus said,] “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 sons of your Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:43-45 New International Version
THOUGHTS ABOUT TODAY’S VERSE…
We often talk about the privileges of being a child of God; forgiveness, salvation, a future in heaven with Him, healing for our bodies, prosperity, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and ultimate victory when Christ comes. One of the greatest privileges we get, however, is the opportunity to act toward those who dislike and hate us in a way that reflects the character and nature of God Himself. God is Love! Anyone can return hate for hate, but it takes a true child of God to return a blessing and a prayer for their enemies who hate and abuse them. The last bit of the above verse (since it is a part of the entire verse) also indicates, according to the Bible, that this action of loving, blessing, and praying for those who hate and despitefully use us is a necessary action needed to become a son (daughter) of God. “Faith without works is dead!” Works = corresponding actions, actions involved in doing the Word of God. Because in doing the Word of God do you work out your salvation through His grace, You become as He is.
Father, thank You for loving me when I was still an enemy to You. Thank You for risking the death of Your Son to offer me the chance to accept or reject Your love. As You have promised, You are pouring Your love into my heart so I may love even my enemies as You have loved me. Father, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to love everyone just as Jesus did and even now still does. Help me Lord to show that true AGAPE love to all I meet. Through Jesus, the gift of Your love, I pray.
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