“I say, love your enemies!
Pray for those who persecute you!”
Have you ever had a person in your life that just seemed to stonewall your progress? Maybe they altered plans that you had, or destroyed something special to you. It can be frustrating to deal with such a person.
My pastor has been going through a series of messages that deals with this very topic. In the midst of this, I also came across the message, The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere.
In both messages the crux of it all is…prayer. Yeah, the best way to train yourself to love your enemy is prayer. The crazy thing is, you don’t have to interact with your enemy. When you start to take your enemy before the Lord and ask Him to bless them, to protect them, to give them joy, to secure them, to give grace and mercy to them…something happens to your heart towards them. What I have found when I go through these seasons is that I’m no better than my enemy. I’m a sinner, saved purely by grace (Ephesians 2:8) and nothing that I have or haven’t done. The reality is, I have more dirt on myself than I do on my enemy. If Christ can love me, then surely I can love my enemy.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Here are a few links to the messages I referenced:
Living in the Second Mile – Pastor Tim Oldfied
House Fires – Pastor Tim Oldfield
Bait of Satan – John Bevere