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Bless Who?

Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28 NIV

Of all the requests Jesus makes of us, this is perhaps the most difficult. To love our enemies, pray for them, and bless them is in opposition to every human urge -- but that's his point. First, we must set aside the impulse to respond with hate, revenge, and condemnation. In other words, we should treat them as we wish to be treated -- sound familiar? Later in verse 31, Jesus says, "Do to others as you would have them do to you."

We might say to ourselves, "Sure, but that was Jesus. He was divine, and we would expect nothing less. We can't possibly act the same way towards our enemies." True he was of God, but he was also fully human, and as he hung on the cross, experiencing mortal pain, he prayed for his abusers. He knew this wasn't easy; we needed help. So, when he ascended, he sent the Holy Spirit so we could follow his example. Yes, it's difficult, but with God's help not impossible.

God of forgiveness, we give thanks for the example of our Redeemer Jesus Christ and the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. We confess it is hard to pray for those who mistreat us, and we find it difficult to offer forgiveness. But thanks to your grace, the difficult is not impossible. We acknowledge that through you, all things are possible. We ask for blessings for our abusers and pray that you work mightily in their lives. Lord, remove within us any impurities in our hearts and replace them with your love. We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Tim

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