“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44 NIV
When we stop and think about the cross, what comes to mind? We may naturally think of the sacrifice of God’s one and only Son for the sins of the world. Or we may think about the initial suffering our Savior endured. But, we must also stop and remember why Jesus went to the cross and who He went to the cross for. The ‘why Jesus went to the cross’ is because of His great love for us; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). The ‘who He went to the cross for’ was for those who were enemies of His righteousness. Without Christ, we are unrighteous before God and that unrighteousness makes us enemies of God. That did not stop Him from making the sacrifice, out of love, so that we could become righteous through Christ and through Christ alone.
Let’s break this mold and mindset of wanting to give our enemies what they deserve. Remember that if God had the same mindset we have toward our enemies, we would never have had the chance of redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. When the world and our flesh tell us to ‘hate those who hate us’ and to ‘give what is due’, let us do the contrary and remember the words Jesus Himself spoke; “love your enemies”. Then, we must back it up with action; loving instead of hating. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins” (Prov. 10:12).
Do you have the mindset to give your enemies what they deserve?
If so, how can you break through that mindset in order to love your enemies just as Jesus loves you?
Jesus, Prince of Peace,
you have asked us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.I pray for my enemies and those who oppose me.With the help of the Holy Spirit, may all people learn to work together for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.To you be glory and honor for ever and ever. I ask that you turn my hurt I am feeling caused by my enemies into love- the same love you had for those that persecuted you. In your precious and holy name, Amen