“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45

There is so much going on in the world today. ISIS is now in the forefront with all of their horrible acts of execution. When we see and hear these terrible acts of hatred and tyranny, our natural reaction is to feel anger and unbelief that people can do such things.

We are shocked and appalled when our children are forbidden to practice their beliefs in school activities, while others are allowed to practice theirs. It is heartbreaking to see our basic beliefs that founded the United States of America disappearing.

With all of this going on, we should remember Jesus’ actions—how he demonstrated his love giving sight to the blind, allowing the deaf to hear, casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. When the people of his hometown tried to kill him, he did nothing but show love to them. There was no greater love exhibited than when he was tried and crucified. He was innocent of any wrongdoing, but went to the cross willingly and asked God to forgive us! Our missionaries are faced with challenges we cannot understand. In Africa, there are witch doctors and magical beliefs. In the orient, idol belief is strong. Missionaries are teaching and sharing the love of Jesus and the great news of salvation. They do this in light of the many obstacles they face.

Remember the words of Jesus and be an example of his love for everyone. Love your enemies. Let the light of Jesus shine above all the obstacles you face. Continue praying for those who persecute believers.  Pray for our missionaries as they teach the good news of our Lord and Savior to unbelieving hearts.

Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, keep us strong as the world continues to struggle with evil. Help us focus on the salvation your Son gave us. Teach us to pray for faith and repentance for those who are persecuting believers. Bless those being persecuted with strength to endure such hardship and pain, making their faith even stronger. Give our missionaries what they need to faithfully proclaim your Word so the Holy Spirit can change the hearts of unbelievers.  We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Bambi Tuttle ~ Minnesota Valley Circuit