“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11
“I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:44-45
Hypocrites may counterfeit the children of God in many things, but they cannot love their enemies from their hearts. And yet by this, we must try and know ourselves, whether we are really children of God or not. The world very easily, but falsely, supposes themselves to be God’s children. Sincere Christians find it often very hard to believe it, especially upon new discovery of their sinfulness. It costs them many a sore conflict; for if Satan disputed the Sonship of Christ, much less will he spare any of us. But, since love to the children of God and to our enemies is sure evidence of the state of grace, when we are conscious of that love, we may well rejoice, though encompassed with a thousand discouragements.
Lord, fill my heart with holy love. Help me to love my enemies and to pray for those who despitefully use me. Never let malice, envy, or a desire for revenge dwell in my heart. If such feelings are ever awakened, mercifully put forth Your power and crush them in the bud. O to be filled with love!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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