Happy Memorial Day everyone! To any of you reading this who have served, or are currently serving in our armed forces, thank you!!! Thank you for your willingness to selflessly stand-up and put the freedom of others before yourself. For those of you who have lost loved ones from their service, I want to say thank you for the sacrifices you have suffered through, and that I pray for peace and healing in your lives. It should not just be one day a year that we celebrate, commemorate, and thank those who have made it possible for us to live freely. I don’t think anyone realizes how good we have it here until they visit a country without the freedoms we have, but let me tell you, it is worth all the appreciation your heart can muster and then some!
I hope that each of us goes out of our way today to reflect upon how blessed we are because of those who have served in our armed forces. Please, sincerely thank and bless those you know who have served or are serving this country! This is my Grandpa who served during World War II, and while he is no longer with us here on earth, I still am filled with such great appreciation, love, and pride as I reflect upon all he did for others during his lifetime.
I think that blessing those who this day is dedicated to is a given, so on top of that, this week’s love action is about how any one of us can fight for peace. Yesterday, one of the pastors at my church shared a website with us during his sermon. It is called ‘Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer’ and you can check out the site by following this link: https://atfp.org/why/
Maybe some of you feel offended or shocked that I would bring up such a site on a day when we should be celebrating those who have died defending us from people like the terrorists listed. I assure you, it is not my intention to offend, undermine, or devalue those serving in our armed forces. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to pray openly for anyone. If it weren’t for them, many of these terrorists would not have the opportunity to receive redemption. Maybe some of you are thinking that they don’t deserve redemption anyhow. Well, that was the point of my pastor’s message. Nobody deserves grace, that is what makes it grace, but that is what we are called to give. God chooses to continuously love and extend opportunities for repentance, and that is what we should do too. Every person you see on the above website, God loves.
When I visited this site, and selected a terrorist to pray for at random, it came up with a man who had been captured, voluntarily admitted guilt, shared all the information he had, and is currently serving time in prison. Now there is a chance for him to repent. I am going to be praying that he comes to a place in life where he is able to share with other people tempted by the path he was tempted by that they should turn completely away from everything associated with that direction. That they aren’t trapped in that lifestyle. That they don’t have to keep wading deeper and deeper into their sin. That they are offered another chance. None of this would be possible if we didn’t have people serving in our armed forces, pursuing the terrorists you see on this website, and ensuring that we have the freedom to join God in reaching out to all sorts of people with love, in His name.
It is not an act of betrayal when you pray for your enemies. When you pray that they would turn from the darkness they currently pursue, when you pray that all their plans would be foiled, and when you pray that they would repent, receive forgiveness, and be able to be used for good instead, you are really fighting a spiritual battle, assisting the physical battle our members of the armed forces fight, even when you can’t be right alongside them. Extending that type of forgiveness may seem like the hardest thing you can think of, all but impossible; but it is what God tells us is right, and the Holy Spirit will guide us to the point of having that kind of grace and love. Nothing is impossible with him.
So this week, pray for those committed to serving our country, pray that they would be protected and blessed in all that they do. But also pray for those who you maybe think are the last people on earth that deserve prayer. Intercession is a powerful tool, and you never know what amazing things God can do with a person who is brought to repentance, receives grace, and then desires to do His will instead. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you have a wonderful week.
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” – Matthew 5:44