Daily Devotional |Day 228
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28, NASB).
Love is the most powerful weapon you have. Have no doubt about that. You will never win by hating or even disliking people. Keep your heart free from all resentment. The condition of your heart determines the condition of your whole life. If your heart is pure, your whole life is pure. If your heart is bitter, your whole life is bitter as well. You don’t want to make resentment your friend. Listen to what Jesus is saying today. It will liberate and strengthen you.
You will be tempted again and again to resent people, but you must say “No” to resentment and hate. The kind of love Jesus is talking about in today’s Bible passage is possible through faith. Jesus wants you to take, not just the highroad, but the divine road. Specifically, Jesus says, pray for those who mistreat or abuse you.
Being able to pray for those who hate or hurt you, identifies you with Jesus. Do you want to be like Jesus? Start by doing what He tells you. Prayer connects you to the Lord in a special way. When you pray for people who don’t deserve it, you are glorifying God and shaming the devil. The enemy wants you to hate; he wants you to resent. In short, he wants you to be like him. Don’t be like him, because you are a child of light (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:5). The truth is, when you hate, you lose. Haters are losers. Hate weakens you. Hate never wins anything. Love, and love alone, empowers you. When you pray for those who mistreat you, the power of Jesus will flow mightily through you.
What you need to realize is, the spiritual realm, just like the physical realm, operates on laws and principles. You can’t hold on to anger/grudge/resentment and hold on to the grace of God at the same time. One has to go. As Christians, we are beneficiaries of God’s abundant grace which He lavished on us through His Son and the Spirit. We, in turn, are called to be ministers of grace. We give grace because we are grace people.
Identity and behavior go hand in hand. They are two sides of the same coin. You are from grace (identity); therefore, you show grace (mission). One prominent way of extending grace to people who mistreat you or hate you is to pray for them. Jesus wants you to pray for them, not against them.
Jesus’ teaching is deep and radical. You need to receive it with faith and a spirit of submission, even when your feeling is pulling you in the opposite direction. Keeping Jesus’ teachings will fill you with life, because His words are spirit and they are life (cf. John 6:63).
Take Jesus’ message to heart. You may not feel like praying for people who have hurt you. But be led by the Spirit of Christ, not your feeling. Feeling is just feeling. If you follow your feeling alone, you may never do what is right.
Do what Jesus tells you, your feelings notwithstanding.
May the Lord grant you victory over every adversity through The Power of Love! Amen.
For further study: Romans 12:9-21