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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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.