by Dan Weyerhaeuser, Senior Pastor
Welcome to a new day that promises to be filled with the presence of God Who loves you! Really, you can spend the whole day with Him!
Ask Jesus to speak to you through His Word by His Spirit. Take time to do this.
We have just begun to look at what God’s love for us is like. We need to spend at least one day, though, looking at how we respond to His love. That’s today.
Open up to Matthew 5:43-48 and read it several times out loud, pausing after each phrase until it “registers” what Jesus is saying.
“Love your neighbor and hate your enemy” is the way we live in the world with each other. That is normal human existence. However God’s dealings with us are different. Would you agree that in loving us, He loved not His neighbors but His enemies? (eg: Rom 5:8 while we were yet sinners [resisting Him in rebellion], Christ died for us). How does the notion that God loved you while you still resisted Him? Talk to Him about this.
Matthew 5 seems to call us to become like Him. Jesus wants us to “love our enemies.” Do you have enemies in your life? Maybe “enemy” is pretty strong, but do you have people who don’t like you in your life? How do you typically respond to them? Think of one or two people who fall into this category. What are ways you treat them right now?
What would it look like if you loved them instead? Name three concrete things you would do if you “loved” them rather than hated them. Do you think God wants you to do these? How do you know?
Loving someone begins by praying for them. Take time right now to pray for God’s mercy and blessing upon “your enemies.” If you struggle to do so, ask God’s help with this. (Note: God’s blessing always invites people to repentance. This prayer may be a part of their eventual reconciliation with God… and with you).
Ask God to open a door for you to carry out those three expressions of love in the days ahead.
Ask God to help you love everyone you come in contact with, for no reason other than that you come in contact with them. Make it your aim to live that way today.
As you conclude: What is one truth about God from these texts you can take through your day? How can you remember it?
Can you think of two people you will see today who don’t yet know the love of Christ? Take a moment and pray for both of them, that God’s Spirit would give them new birth. Then watch for how He brings you two together.