Love & Pray // Matthew 5:44

How do you feel about the people who don’t feel so hot about you? I confess it kinda chaps my hide when I know there are people who don’t like me, but it is a fact of life. Conventional wisdom at the time of Jesus just like today was to love your neighbor and hate your enemies. This is where today’s verse picks up as the Lord taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Jesus modeled this from the mountain where he gave the Sermon on the Mount to the mount of crucifixion. Left to our own designs, this seems almost impossible, but that’s where God’s power emerges; in fact, this is precisely why we are called to pray for those who persecute us. It is about channeling God’s love, grace, and mercy for everyone. Imagine how much different the world would be if we lived accordingly. I admit I want to reply to this concept with a “yeah but,” or “my challenges are different these days,” yet I don’t think I face the risk of crucifixion for doing God’s work. So, let’s embrace Jesus’ teaching and model his actions and love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.