by Pastor Chris Mann
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‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44).
What’s the thing I love most about following Jesus? That there is no-one else like him.
What’s the thing I find hardest about following Jesus? That there is no-one else like him.
No-one else loves us as Jesus loves us – unconditionally, graciously, constantly.
But then Jesus goes and asks me, asks us, to do the same – to love unconditionally, graciously, constantly. It’s why we can say both ‘I am simply a forgiven sinner’ and ‘I shine Christ’s light into the darkness’.
We are called to be in the world, but not of the world, to be salt, light, and a city on a hill. And if you ever want to stand out, if you ever want to be remarkable, if you ever want to have everyone look at you, then there is simply one thing to do: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
It’s what Jesus did when he went to the cross. And it is Jesus, in us, who helps us do it. And it is because we are God’s children that we can do it. Let’s love our enemies, as hard as it may be, just as Christ loves us.
Heavenly Father, I find it hard to love my enemies. It’s hard enough sometimes to love my own family, friends, and others. Yet, you call me to follow you, to do what you do, to live how you lived – and still live. You ask me to do it because you have made me in your image, placed Christ in me, and given me your Holy Spirit. Help me to live according to who I truly am – as your child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.