I always enjoy checking out the verse of the day provided by Biblegateway.com . Today I was blessed to read a familiar passage in the Message translation. It put it in a new light. The content is the same but the wording is so empowering. I will emphasize what especially touched my core being.
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. (Matthew 5:43-45, MSG)
Jesus tells us to love everyone even when someone gives us a hard time. We are encouraged to respond with the energies of prayer. Not with our own strength but with the energies of God. There’s a huge difference! We can’t be loving on our own. But when we are filled with God’s grace, we can respond with love. When our cup is filled with the Holy Spirit, it spills into others too. That’s when we respond with the energies of prayer.
Very often you hear that people are not too keen on following Christ because they would not be able to be themselves. How wrong they are! Only when we embrace Christ, we find our true selves, our God-created selves. And only then we find true meaning, purpose and happiness. All those thing that everyone is looking for but don’t find anywhere else but in Jesus.
So. If you don’t know Jesus yet, get to know him. That’s the wisest decision of your life. Then you find your true self, your God-created self. If you already know Jesus, spend regularly quality time with him to be filled to the brim with his loving grace. Then you can live and love everyone you encounter. Because it’s not you but Jesus in and through you.
You are everything we need and more.
We come to sit with you
and listen to you.
Pour out grace upon grace.
Fill our every need,
fill us to the brim
so we can love others like you love us.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Is it difficult for you to love your enemies? How do you deal with it?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you respond with the energies of prayer!