Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013 “Love Your Enemies”

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and curse you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Good Morning Beloved of God!

This is, perhaps, one of the most difficult directives Jesus has given us.  How are we to truly accomplish this when our natural tendencies are to do just the opposite? The answer lies in the word of love that Jesus uses…agape. Jesus never suggests that we love our enemies in the same way we love our nearest and dearest, which would not be possible or even right. Whereas loving our nearest and dearest is a matter of the heart, loving our enemies involves our will.  It is a victory and a conquest over that which comes instinctively.  In point of fact, we can only have such love when Christ enables us to conquer our natural tendency towards anger and bitterness.  I truly believe this is only possible for those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  This love involves yet another striking element: Not only are we to love our enemies…we are also called upon to pray for them. Prayers made for an enemy is destructive to the anger and hatred we harbor in our own hearts. As we approach the Throne of Grace, we cannot go on hating another person for whom we are praying. Prayer is the surest was I know of to destroy bitterness. Is there someone that you feel hatred or bitterness towards today or feels that way about you? Let’s strive to follow Jesus’ directive. Let’s pray for them right now.

Merciful and Loving God, though we deserve your wrath, you lavish us with unmerited love and grace. You have taught us to pray for those who hate us. As we do so, let us keep in mind the grace and forgiveness you have shown us, that we might emulate you in our relationships with them. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. May we demonstrate the love, mercy, and grace of Christ in thought, word, deed, and especially prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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