“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
This past Sunday, while reflecting on Jesus’ love for the Pharisees—his enemies who persecuted him—I shared with you a prayer a friend taught me to pray for people I find difficult to love. Many of you asked for a copy of that prayer, so here it is:
The Lord bless you. May the Lord interfere and intervene in your life, and by the power of his Holy Spirit bring you into right relationship with him to change your character and your destiny.
This prayer, and Jesus’ pursuit of the Pharisees, was in the back of my mind as I looked at this week’s New Testament reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians (3:12-4:1). I remembered that Paul himself was a Pharisee, deeply zealous and ready to persecute his “enemies” (Philippians 3:5; Acts 7:58; 9:1-2, 13). Yet in Philippians 3:18 he now has tears for the “enemies of the cross of Christ,” and Paul writes with unexpected tenderness for the very community he once persecuted (Philippians 1:8; 4:1). Here is a Pharisee of Pharisees (Acts 23:6) who changed his mind about Jesus, and in turn has himself been changed by Jesus.
How did this happen? The Lord Jesus interfered and intervened in his life, and by the power of his Holy Spirit brought him into right relationship with the Father, changing his character and his destiny.
It happened to Paul. It can happen to that person in your life (you know who I’m talking about). It can happen to you.
Remember we now have two services, 8am and 10:30am, where you can come and experience the intervention and interference of the Lord. See you there.
Your Pastor in Christ,