Daily Scriptures

Tuesday, February 21: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

 

Whoops!Jesus loved the Pharisees, but when he got angry, it was almost always with them, the religious leaders of his day. They twisted really good things into beliefs and actions that ended up hurting people, including themselves, and pushing others away from God. Whoops! is a series about four of these patterns that Christians too often find ourselves drifting toward, despite our best intentions.

Read Matthew 5:43-48

"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. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

 

Reflect

Loving our enemies can be a challenge, especially when it's so easy to shut them out of our lives and build walls to protect ourselves from whatever threat they might pose.

Respond

Today, take the deliberate step of praying for someone in your life who falls into the "enemy" category. When we ask God for help, he can transform even those unpleasant relationships and situations by changing our own perspective. Sometimes God even turns enemies into friends.

 

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