Daily D – Matthew 5:43-45
“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hat your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. For he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
MATTHEW 5:43-45 (CSB)
Two of my favorite books of recent years include Everybody Always by Bob Goff and Bold as Love by Bob Roberts. Everybody Always has an interesting subtitle: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. The subtitle of Bold as Love is What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does.
If you noticed the recurring theme, good. Both Bobs seem to think Jesus intended for us to take him at his word regarding loving everybody including those we consider enemies. Jesus said our Father in heaven sends his sun and his rain on everybody we like and everybody we don’t. He gives good gifts even to those who rebel against him. His kindness works toward winning their hearts.
I wonder what would happen if we were nice and kind and patient and gentle with everyone like God is? What if we stopped praying for revival and started taking Jesus and our Father in heaven seriously? What if we did what they told us to do? That would create renewal, don’t you think?
To love our enemies does not necessarily mean to snuggle, cuddle, and smooch them. It does mean to seek the highest good for them. A book in my library helps us know how to do it. It has 365 daily entries of world leaders and celebrities. It provides details regarding how to pray for these influencers.
Sadly, that book was published a long time ago and the publisher refused to create annual updates. No bother. Who is in the news today? Let’s pray for them. Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce. Let’s pray for them and for their children. Who else comes to mind?
You will meet someone along the way today who does not know Jesus. What is the most loving thing you can do for him or for her? Pray, serve, smile, and help those you encounter. See them as God sees them, which is the same way he sees you and me. Love everybody always.
I will seek the highest good for everyone I encounter.
Our Father, some people are easier to love than others. Empower us to seek the highest good for everyone everywhere always. May your love overflow our lives. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.