Another Challenge

OPENING PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, that when I was Your enemy, You gave Your very life for me.

 

Read:LUKE 6:27-36

[27] “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. [29] If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. [30] Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. [31] Do to others as you would have them do to you. [32] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. [33] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. [34] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.[35] But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. [36]Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 

 

Reflect:HOW IS JESUS CHALLENGING US TO TREAT OUR ENEMIES?

These words of Jesus are, perhaps, some of his most challenging. At the heart of the passage there is the command to love (27). However, this is not a romantic, “wishy-washy” love, but rather a love that is robust, demands courage, and requires a willingness to give of ourselves. It is a love which is always ready to show concern for those who mistreat us, to give wholeheartedly, and to bear the unkindness of others without resentment or bitterness (28-30).Jesus is also clear that our love should not be just for those who are like us, or with whom we share common interests and attitudes (32-34). We are to show love to all, even to those who are against us, and to give that love with no expectation of return or thanks (35). These are indeed very hard and demanding words, and they could be seen as an ideal with little connection to the real world in which we live. But, and it is a very big “but,” we need to remember the example of Jesus himself. In the face of rejection and anger, he gave himself to the way of the cross; and he calls his followers to live in the same way and to show the mercy of God the Father (36).

 

APPLY

Today, take a purposeful step to extend love to someone who has mistreated you.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Compassionate Father, may the river of Your Spirit flow freely and dislodge all that hinders You moving in my life.

 

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