Love Your Enemies

Love is an act of the will, not a feeling of affection. We always have a choice as to whether or not we choose to love. With those who love us and are kind toward us, love is an easy decision. However, to those who mistreat us, who speak poorly of us, or are downright unkind to all whom they encounter – those are the individuals that we are specifically called to love. But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. – (Luke 6:27-28)

 

In Jesus’ day, the Romans oppressed the Jews. Jesus told them to love anyway. He was not speaking of affection for their enemies, but rather He was talking about making an intentional effort to act in their best interest, in spite of their unkindness. We can pray for those who persecute, and we can extend grace to the gruff. God’s goodness transcends our guilt, so we are called to extend His love to ALL. Jesus loved all of us, despite our sinfulness. He chose to take all of our guilt and shame upon Himself, in love. May we choose to love, even those who are the most difficult for us to love.

 

An act of the will,Love Your Enemies

is our choice to love;

not something we feel,

but modeled above.

For Christ came to show,

that love is a choice;

an act of the will,

not vain empty noise.

Love chooses to act,

to pray and serve well;

it fends off the hate,

sent forth straight from hell.

May we choose to bless,

even the unkind;

so they too may know,

His glory divine.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not simply ask us to do the seemingly impossible in our own strength, but rather You sent Your Son, Jesus, who modeled a life of loving His enemies, doing good to those who hated Him, blessing those who cursed Him, and praying for those who mistreated Him. Thank You Jesus for sending Your Holy Spirit to equip and empower us to do the same. Forgive us for the times that we do not act in love, but rather react in our own hurt. Teach us to trust You more, so that our response will be the choice to love, even when we are hated, cursed or mistreated. Show us how we can love, bless, pray for and do good to those whom we might struggle to love. Let Your love be what is evident in me. May many come to know You, as a result of our choosing to love. Be glorified O God, as we choose to love those who are most challenging to love. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise. – James 5:13

Rather By Prayer

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

Life fuels anxiety. Between work, home, health, children, and a vast array of responsibilities, anxiety arises. Paul presents God’s perfect plan for us, when anxiousness attempts to enter. Rather than remaining in the spaces of angst, we are to pray. Whatever is worrying us, we are meant to bring before the Lord, with thanksgiving (because He is able to meet our needs). The “AND” is the connecting comfort that we cannot neglect. When we allow Him into the avenues of our anxiety, and hand our worries to Christ, His peace, that passes all understanding, comes and guards our hearts and minds, which ultimately fends off further anxiousness. Let us present our concerns before Christ in prayer, whenever anxiety arises, and may we be ever aware of His peace that comes close to guard our hearts and minds.

 

Do not be anxious,Rather By Prayer

about anything;

rather by prayer,

to God, be seeking.

When we pray to Him,

let Christ know our need;

He hears what we ask,

to His peace He’ll lead.

Christ will guard our heart,

our mind and our soul;

if we hand to Him,

all that’s taking toll.

The peace of the Lord,

shall come grant us rest;

so trust well in Him,

present your requests.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us and know us, and do not want for any of us to be anxious about anything. Thank You that we can come to You and pray to You, and present our every prayer and petition before You, with thanks, knowing that You hear us and see our need. Thank You that when we pray, Your peace comes and covers us in ways that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Forgive us for allowing anxiety to eat away at us, and help us to seek You and the help You provide, the moment worry or anxiousness begins to creep in. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may be at peace, even in the midst of life’s storms. Help us to love others as You so lavishly love each of us. May many come to know the perfect peace that is found in alone. Be glorified Lord God, as we present our every prayer and petition before You, trusting in Your faithfulness. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16