Today's devotion is based on Matthew 5:43-45, "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 children of your Father in heaven."
When Jesus speaks of loving our enemies, he uses the Greek Word, which means more than "to like." It is a word that the Bible uses most often with the love God has for totally undeserving sinners, a love that moved God to be merciful and act for our salvation.
We may be unable to like some people because of their sinful habits. But as disciples of Jesus, we are to love our enemies. Why? Because we know and have experienced the love of God, his extraordinary grace for us undeserving sinners that pardons our guilt for Jesus' sake. By his love, God eternally embraces us as his children.
Jesus points out that by showing such love for those who hate us, we are recognized as the children of the Father. How wonderful to be known as children of God simply by the way we treat those who have mistreated us!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen; through your Word, renew in me daily a greater understanding and a deeper appreciation for your love in Christ. Help me to reflect your love to others, even toward those I have difficulty liking. Thank you for sending Jesus for people like me. In Jesus' blessed name, I pray. Amen.