Sometimes it’s really hard to love people, particularly when You ask me to love those who hate You and do evil things. Please show me. How can I hate evil and still love the haters?
Isn’t that what Paul did when he was in prison? In the worst of circumstances, he hated evil but continued to love. And You did the same, Jesus. When You were beaten, mocked, and crucified, You asked God to forgive Your enemies because they didn’t know what they were doing. That is pure love.
Jesus, You are always in my heart, guiding me and leading me to be more like You. And for that reason, I have to pray for those who hate You and do evil things. I don’t love what they do, Lord — but I want them to know You, so I pray for them. I love them enough to ask that You will save them. Please, Lord Jesus, come into their hearts. Open their eyes to see You. They need You so much.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. — Matthew 5:43–44
When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed for His enemies and asked God to forgive them. Can you love someone who hates the Lord or who willingly inflicts suffering? Love doesn’t mean that you accept acts of hatred and evil, but love requires that you pray for those most in need of salvation. Remember them when you pray.
Excerpted with permission from Jesus, I Need You: Devotions from My Heart to His, copyright Zondervan.
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Most of us have at least one hater in our lives. People who chose to be difficult and mean no matter how much grace, peace, hope, and love are offered and even with years of effort. They’re hard to forgive. Hard to tolerate. Hard to pray for. And yet, that’s our commandment from the Lord! Come share with us on our blog what you’ve discovered as you’ve prayed for someone who has done evil in your life or the lives of those you love. We want to hear from you about being more like Jesus in forgiveness and prayer. ~ Devotionals Daily