‘If you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends.’ Matthew 5:46–47 NCV
Jon Walker writes: ‘Send picture and I’ll reply… it’s a common message in personal ads and it makes sense in this day and age to exercise caution… But when it comes to loving others, do you find yourself saying: Send picture first? We all say it in different ways…“I have to see if you’re good enough… I’m not sure you’re worthy of my love… You need to act the way I expect before I’ll love you.”’
It’s time we stopped ‘evaluating Christians by what the world thinks.’ (2 Corinthians 5:16 TLB) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that God ‘causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong. If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. You must be perfect [mature] just as your Father in Heaven is.’ (Matthew 5:45–48 NCV)
God’s love towards us is ‘perfect’ because it is unconditional, non-judgmental, and comes with no strings attached. The Bible says when we were His enemies, He ‘showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us.’ (Romans 5:8 NLT) So, is there someone in your life who hurt you and now you’re having a hard time loving them? If so, pray: ‘Father, I’m struggling to love [fill in the name]. Help me to let go of judging and blaming, and begin to love them the way You love me.’
SoulFood: 2 Thes 1–3, Luke 20:9–19, Ps 18:30–50, Pro 8:32–33
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019
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