Read: John 19:1-5
Love your enemies . . . and pray for those who . . . persecute you. —Matthew 5:44
Bible in a year:
Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2
When I was a freshman in Bible college, I began to be bolder about speaking up for the Lord. Not surprisingly, my new habit created friction with some. Attending a social event with my former high school friends bore this out. One young woman to whom I had witnessed earlier laughed at my concern about where she would spend eternity. Ed, a friend who knew of my faith, said jokingly, “Three cheers for the old rugged cross!” I felt put down and rejected.
But later that evening I was filled with an unexplainable love. Recalling our Lord’s command to “Love your enemies . . . and pray for those who . . . persecute you” (Matt. 5:44), I prayed for Ed who had mocked the cross of Christ. With my eyes filled with tears, I asked the Lord to save him.
About a year later, I got a letter from Ed saying he wanted to get together. When we finally met, he shared how he had wept over his own sinfulness and had invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord. Later, to my surprise I heard that Ed had become a missionary to Brazil. The lesson I learned from that experience is that prayer is the best response to spiritual opposition. What critic of your faith might need your prayers today?
Lord, help us not respond in kind
To those who hate and turn from You;
Instead, help us to love and pray
That someday they’ll accept what’s true. —Sper
People may mock our message
but they are helpless against our prayers.