Daily Reading: 7-27-16
Matthew 5:43:-48 The Voice (VOICE)
In our present culture, we are witnessing an intense level of daily discord. Satan is hard at work trying to cause division everywhere (family, friendships, work, etc.). Division makes us weaker by forcing isolation.
Jesus is teaching the disciples about loving even those we see as enemies. We are to unselfishly seek the best or higher good for them and pray for them. And get this: when we respond this way to those who mistreat us we are revealing ourselves as God’s authentic children. When we reflect our Father, we are living the Higher Life.
It is easy to love those who love us back, but Jesus has called us to love our enemies and pray for them. Why would he say that? Because it is the character of God. He even loves those who hate Him. God knows it is a hard thing to desire good things for hateful people, so Jesus provided the Spirit who helps us.
Matthew 5:43-48The Voice (VOICE)
43 You have been taught to love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you this: love your enemies. Pray for those who torment you and persecute you— 45 in so doing, you become children of your Father in heaven. He, after all, loves each of us—good and evil, kind and cruel. He causes the sun to rise and shine on evil and good alike. He causes the rain to water the fields of the righteous and the fields of the sinner. 46 It is easy to love those who love you—even a tax collector can love those who love him. 47 And it is easy to greet your friends—even outsiders do that! 48 But you are called to something higher: “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Prayer: Lord, without the work of your Spirit I could not love this way. But I press on to lay hold of the eternal riches in Christ Jesus to love as you love. Holy Spirit, keep me united with people of like minds and faith so I may stay the course. In Jesus’ name. Amen.