Monday, August 20, 2018

August 20

It’s very easy to love a friend who is always there for you, and stands by you through thick and thin. On the other hand, it’s easy to hate your enemies. As a follower of Christ, we are commanded to love. What does that mean? Are we to love our enemies? “But Lord, look what they’ve done to me! How am I to love them?” Our goal, during this lifetime, is to become as much like Jesus as we can, and He loves everyone, even those who deny Him and follow their own path. I’m just going to show you my sin nature for a moment, please bear with me. When someone intentionally hurts me, belittles, or is downright evil to me, all I want to do is lash out. What does Jesus say about that? Pray for those who persecute you! Yes! I can do that. “I pray that hell and damnation fall upon them and that they experience the full extent of God’s wrath!” No! No! No! That is not how we are to pray! The Matthew Henry Commentary says it like this: 

We must pray that God will forgive them, that they may never fare the worse for anything they have done against us, and that he would make them to be at peace with us; and this is one way of making them so.

It is so hard to pray that way, but so healing. Something changes inside of you when you pray for good towards them. This is just my opinion, but I think the Holy Spirit takes over for you at that point, and comforts your heart with peace. I know this one is hard to put into practice, but try it and see what happens.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? Matthew 5:44-46

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