Bless–don’t curse; do good–not evil; don’t forget to pray

Matthew-5--44The Verse of the Day for February 8, 2014 is found in Matthew 5:43-45:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

When confronted with negative situations, the words of Jesus Christ remind us to move in the opposite spirit in a number of ways.

Bless–don’t curse:

Followers of Christ are to bless those who curse them. The same exhortation comes from Roman 12:14:

Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them. (Amplified Bible)

Do good–not evil

As believers we are always endeavoring to do good, even to those who hate us.  The expression “to do good” brings to mind Galatians 6:10:

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Included among “all men” are those who hate us. This reminder to do good is echoed in the words of John Wesley, who said:

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

Don’t forget to pray

When we encounter those who persecute us and speak all manner of evil against us, Christians ask, “What can we do?” We are not to retaliate but to pray for them. Jesus reminded us that “Men ought always to pray and not to faint.” We are further exhorted to pray without ceasing. Someone has said, “There is always something to pray about.”

Steven Curtis Chapman offers this reminder: “Let us Pray”

The Verse of the Day shows us how we should respond to those who oppose us and persecute us.

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