Read Matthew 5:43–48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children 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. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
What underlying emotions and attitudes cause divisions between groups of people?
What character quality more than any other says to the world, “This person is a Christian”?
How did Jesus say we ought to treat our enemies?
What does God think of us when we love those who love us?
Why is friendliness to friends and relatives not considered exceptional behavior?
What exceptional standard did Christ give us?
If our holy God is able to exhibit grace and mercy to everyone, why is it difficult for us to be like Him?
What would have to happen in your heart in order for you to be able to pray for an enemy?
What are some specific ways you can show love today to someone whom you dislike?
For which of your “enemies” will you pray every day this week?
Heavenly Father, though I often fall short of Your perfection, forgive my sins for Jesus’ sake, and strengthen me for greater service, especially that most holy service of forgiving my enemies. Amen.