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Loving the unlovable

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Read: Luke 6:27-36

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Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:28).

Therows of school desks would soon be filled with energetic teens. Although I was only filling in for their teacher, I took my role seriously. As the first lesson was about to start, the door flung open and in walked a woman who announced herself as my teaching assistant. Fantastic! I thought. I need the help.

What I didn’t realize was the misery she would bring into my life. She undermined me in front of the students and tried to control every lesson. I felt defeated and couldn’t see a way forward until I felt compelled to pray for her. She was the last person I wanted to pray for, but when I did, I began to change. And then she changed. In fact, we became quite a team. When I later left that position, she gave me a gift, and we both cried as we said goodbye.

I had witnessed the power of praying for “en­emies” — something I’ll never forget. Jesus has a challenge for those “who are willing to listen… love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you” (Luke 6:27-28). How, He emphasized, are His follow­ers different from anyone else if we only love those who love us, if we only do good to those who do good to us? (Luke 6:32-33).

It’s not easy to obey God when He commands us to walk in the difficult way of loving our enemies. But through the power of Christ’s Spirit we can grow spiritually as His children and learn to walk in ever-deeper obedience to Him (Galatians 5:16-17). In this way we will show that we are “children of the Most High” (Luke 6:35).

In God’s strength, let us “do to others as [we] would like them to do to [us],” a reflection of our heav­enly Father’s compassion for us (Luke 6:31, 36).

Our Daily Journey ©2018 ODB Ministries, 3000, Kraft Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49555-0001, USA. Used by permission. For this and other materials contact ODB Ministries at 322 P. Guevarra, San Juan City (Phils.); Tel.: 722-2010.

 

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