Loving the unlovable

Fight

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“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

God works through our weaknesses. One of our weaknesses is loving people who hate us. For whatever reason, they want nothing to do with us, talk us down, and sometimes even go out of their way to make life miserable for us. I have read many accounts through Voice of the Martyrs where people are brutalized or killed and the victim or family forgive the one who caused the assault and actually show love to them. This is love empowered only by God. There is not a love in this world that can compare to that. It reminds me of how Jesus was crucified, yet he asked his Father to forgive them for they didn’t know what they were doing. I think that’s true for anyone who hates another or does evil against them. They truly don’t realize the big picture ramifications. They don’t understand the love God has for them.

What is our reaction? Humanly, we want to strike back at someone who hits us. When we allow God’s Spirit to work through us at those moments by not striking back and being kind to them, it is noticed. This is so unique in today’s world that it is taken in by all who witness—even the aggressor. God’s glory is lit up for all to see. How will they respond? That is unknown and not really your concern. Your response is your responsibility.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I can plug into your supernatural love as I relate to people. Those who I find more difficult may your love shine even brighter. Amen

Faith Tip: Today in your interactions with people, see who God has put in your path to be extra intentional to show his love.

Keep practicing

Knitted Socks

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“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-20).

I’m learning to knit socks. For those of you who don’t know, there are four double-pointed needles used in the process. I first had to practice the knit and purl stitches and then attempt to go on to making the socks. This was quite the process as the stitches were first very loose, and then I would sometimes make them too tight. Repeatedly, I would need to undo the stitches for I would see a mistake I made, and then start again. It didn’t help when Charlie, my yellow lab, “captured” the yarn ball and took off running with it getting tangled in the yarn. I could give up and go out to buy socks and completely forget about knitting. Yet, as I recast the stitches on and begin again, I can see that my stitches are looking much better. I feel good about that.

The Law of God was made for us to know how to live our lives. It was in the Old Testament a requirement to be fulfilled, and if it wasn’t, then a sacrifice needed to be made. Try as they might, the people of God could not live by the Law totally without sinning. This fact hasn’t changed even today. Jesus was the sacrifice made for our sins. Because of Jesus, the Law of God was fulfilled. Does that mean we don’t need the Law, that we should turn our back on it and forget it? We need to continue practicing living the way the Law has shown us for God has a purpose for it—to grow us into the image of Christ. We can feel good about the growing we have done and will do knowing God wants us to be the best we can be.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the ultimate sacrifice needed to fulfill the Law and save me. In response, I want to be the best I can be for you. I pray that I can practice living your Law daily and see new growth as I am being transformed by your Spirit. Amen

Faith Tip: Ask God to reveal to you an area of the Law that he wants you to practice today.