Bringing Out The Best

6 Mar

God’s Word:  Matthew 5:43-47  Jesus said, “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’  I’m challenging that.  I’m telling you to love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worse.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.  This is what God does.  He gives his best—the sun to warn and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.  If all you do is love the loveable, do you expect a bonus?  Anybody can do that.  If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal?  Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”

Jesus’ Message to Me: (My interpretation of what Jesus is saying to me through these verses)

Again, I remind you that I did not come to earth to destroy the Old Law but to fulfill it with the teaching of love.  Love is the fulfillment of law.  There is no law more supreme than love.  Love supersedes all law.  If mankind truly loves, as God loves, all laws could be set aside.  When you say “kill them with kindness” you are acknowledging there is a better way than retaliation.

Love forgives the offender for the offences and treats the offender as a friend.  You don’t have to “love” what the person does, but you are to “love” the offender because he is a fellow human.  Too often you allow your offenders to bring out the worse in you.  You have the choice as to your response.  Why not allow their offences to bring out the best in you—love regardless. You will do your health a great benefit.

You should be grateful that God does not withhold his sun and rain based on your performance.  Neither should you withhold your love and kindness based on the offences or your perceived offences of others.  Love chooses to forgive, even before the offence is committed.  Therefore I challenge you to remember that to the degree you love and forgive others, God loves and forgives you.

Jesus’ Question for Me: Will you willingly choose to love instead of hold a grudge?

Jesus’ Promise to Me:  When you breathe a prayer when offenders mistreat you, God will give you the strength to offer love when showed hatred.  Don’t allow offence to rest even one moment in your heart—respond with love and forgiveness immediately.

My Song to Jesus:   Because I have been given so much   by Grace Noll Crowell

Because I have been given much
I too must give.
Because of thy great bounty, Lord
Each day I live.
I shall divide my gifts from thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.

Because I have been sheltered
Fed by thy good care.
I cannot see another’s lack
And I not share.
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread
My roof’s safe shelter overhead
That he, too, may be comforted

 

Because love has been lavished so

Upon me Lord,

A wealth I know was not meant

For me to hoard.

I shall give love to those in need,

Shall show that love by word and deed

Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

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