Prayer Focus: Romania

Bible Reading: Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13

Scripture

“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, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Observation

Jesus’ audience understood our natural inclination to love those that love us and hate those that hate us. He offered a vision that was far more challenging. He refused to stoop to conventional wisdom and practice, instead providing a revolutionary teaching that continues to transform lives more than two thousand years later.

Application

We want grace for ourselves and justice for others. We embrace the fool’s golden rule: do unto others as they do unto us. We are called to something greater than fairness or the status quo—perfection. Obviously none of us is perfect, but our Example was. He is. No matter how we’ve been treated, Jesus was treated worse. He prayed for those that butchered Him, asking the Father to forgive them. That’s love!

Prayer

LORD, I am a good pagan! I want to be so much more! I want to be like Jesus, but sometimes it can be so hard. Help me to see others through Your eyes of mercy and unconditional love rather than through my eyes of justice. Thank You for loving and accepting me despite my sin and rebellion. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Advertisements