Today I feel I need to share this message. It seems many people are going through tough times and struggles, and we all need a reminder of a very simple yet very famous message:
Seeds of love (thought for today):
It is always easy to love the people who are near and dear to us, such as best friends, parents and/or siblings. We get long well and understand each other, we look forward to seeing one another and have no trouble serving and going the extra mile for each other.
But Jesus challenges us to go outside of our comfort zones and love our enemies, the people we just cannot get along with, whom we argue with and just wish they never even existed. To love the people we learned to hate, the very same people we hold a grudge against for many weeks, months and years. Love, true and pure and perfect love, is a choice, not a feeling – choose to love your enemies.
Jesus challenges us to go the extra mile and pray for the people who persecute us – persecute means to pursue someone and harass them with oppressive treatment and injure them emotionally and/or physically, especially where it concerns religious, ethnic or political differences in beliefs. Pray for blessings, healing, and peace for your persecutors and watch how God changes the life of your persecutor. But also take into consideration: when you pray for God to change someone, God’s first priority will be to change you before he will change someone else.
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:46-47
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse, pray for those who abuse you.” Luke 6:27-28
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinner love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:32-33, 36 (ESV)