Wednesday, May 8, 2019
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 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.
Offenses come upon us every day. Some are very minor things that annoy us, some are very egregious that hurt deeply. We’re the victims of those offenses, are we supposed to just forget about them? Why should I? Why shouldn’t they be made to pay? Why does praying for our enemies make us children of God? When we are the children of God, we do the things He wants us to do. The disciples asked Jesus : “Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jn 6:28.
Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus lives to make intercession for us, and when we sin we are at enmity with God. Jesus prays for us, making intercession for us. If we do likewise with our enemies, we are participating in God’s ministry of reconciliation. Now we can not save others, nor can we forgive sins that offend God, but we can forgive those who offend and persecute us. We can choose to let go of those offenses. This keeps our hearts open to the things God wants to show us and use us for. It also opens up those who offended us to God’s grace in that they can see the works of Jesus acting in our lives.
O God, I was once your enemy, I held evil in my heart and did not love. But even while I was against you, you loved me, you demonstrated your love for me by dying for me, to have your blood shed as the sacrifice for my sin. And now, I desire to see my enemies have that same chance, to experience the love of Christ. Give me a peaceful and soft heart that embraces the grace you have for me to forgive those who hurt and despitefully use me. Use me to be an influence on others, for your glory.