Tag Archives: love

Your Friends and Family are Special to God

Is there anything you think is really wonderful, which you want to tell people about?

Written by Hope on 11/08/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Evangelism, Family, Friends, Relationships, Salvation
"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

A friend of mine just told me about a television show she likes. She said, "When I find something really good, I get excited, and I want to tell my friends about it." What about you? is there anything you think is really wonderful, which you want to tell people about?

Amazing Things
One day, in the course of His travels, Jesus stopped at a well in a Samaritan village. He met a woman there and told her amazing things, revealing, "I AM the Messiah!" (John 4:26). She was so excited that she "left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone" (John 4:28). Have you ever learned something so amazing that you can’t wait to tell everyone about it?

His Message
On the morning of Jesus' resurrection, His followers found His tomb empty, but "they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead" (John 20:9). Mary Magdalene stayed behind, weeping. But Jesus appeared to her, proving His triumph over death. He instructed her to tell the others about the miracle, and she obeyed: "Mary Magdalene found the Disciples and told them, 'I have seen the Lord!' Then she gave them His message" (John 20:18). When the Lord instructs you to share His words, how do you respond?

Good News
When the Samaritan woman told her people about Jesus, "many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because [of what] the woman had said" (John 4:39). But when Mary Magdalene "told [the Disciples] that Jesus was alive and she had seen Him, they didn’t believe her" (Mark 16:11) until He appeared to them Himself.

Jesus told His followers, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone" (Mark 16:15). Today, His followers carry on with the task. As in Jesus’ day, some will believe; but other times, even our dearest friends or family members will refuse God’s truth. When the Lord asks you to tell others the Good News, will you run to do it, like the Samaritan woman and Mary Magdalene?

Prayer, Care, and Share Jesus
Scripture: 2 Peter 3:8-9.

It is so wonderful to know from 2 Peter 3:8-9 that the Lord is patient with us, as He does not want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. It’s important to always remember that every action you take can be a vital step to move someone closer to everlasting life through Jesus Christ.

So, this week I want to challenge you with a specific task. Think about five people you know, who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord and Savior, or have turned away from Him. These may be family, friends or colleagues at work or school. Maybe you have shared Jesus already with them, but they have not chosen to follow Him. You care about these people and really want to see them come to know Christ. You now know that the Lord shares your heart because of what He says in 2 Peter 3:8-9.

Here’s the challenge. Write those five names in a journal, the front of your Bible, or a sticky note on your computer monitor — wherever you will see them daily. Practice sharing your faith with them daily. You can use techniques you’ve learned in this guide from past weeks to help you. Let’s call this the “Take 5 Challenge”. There will be more about this challenge in upcoming Weekly Prayer Letters.

How long do you do this? Until each person has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, or at least one year. When any of them become believers, add the name of another friend or loved one to your “Take 5” list. I challenge you to “Take 5” until the day you are too old to pray anymore!

“Take 5” is therefore a serious effort between you and the Lord and the people on your list. So think carefully about these five people and talk to the Lord about them often, keeping in mind the Scripture 2 Peter 3:8-9.

Pray this week:

God will help you choose five people to minister to.

Why do you think it is harder to tell our loved ones about Jesus and the way to Salvation? Talk to someone about your fears.

Talk About It

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Selfish People Are Unable To Love

It is common to have the ingrained idea that selfish people are narcissistic. We believe that these people only care about themselves, that they value and love each other above all else. However, the reality is quite different:  selfish people have not only difficulty loving others, but also loving themselves.

We understand that a selfish person is one who only cares about himself. It lacks respect and interest for the needs of others, it relates to people primarily because of their usefulness and the benefits they can derive from them.

They establish, therefore, instrumental relationships to cover their needs, without considering the emotional aspect of the people. This can happen, in turn, by the fear of getting too involved in relationships and getting hurt. So, in fact, they are doing it is to flee from love.

The selfish person does not get satisfaction in giving; Your concern is basically what you will receive in return. It may give the impression that all this energy that focuses on itself derives from the self-love it feels. However, all these attitudes imply a great inability to love oneself.

"He sees no more than himself; Judge others according to their usefulness; Is basically unable to love. Does not this prove that worrying about others and about yourself are inevitable alternatives? That would be true if selfishness and self-love were identical, but such an assumption is precisely the fallacy that led to so many erroneous conclusions about our problems. " 
-Erich Fromm-

Selfish people have no self-love
It is common for people to confuse self-love with being selfish. The person who loves himself is far from seeming a selfish person , since there are notorious differences that denote a real concern both with himself and with the people who surround him.

When we immerse ourselves in our own knowledge of ourselves, we begin, in turn, a better understanding of others. Self-knowledge is the only way to be aware of our own limitations,  the lack of self-acceptance, and all the fears underlying our behavior.

"Selfishness and self-love, far from being identical, are really opposites. The selfish individual does not love himself very much, but very little; In fact, he hates himself. Such lack of care and care is nothing more than the expression of his lack of productivity, leaves him empty and frustrated. He necessarily feels unhappy and anxiously anxious to wrest from life the satisfactions he is prevented from obtaining. 
-Erich Fromm-
Love to be able to love
It is fundamental to love yourself first so that you can love others . This fact is primordial and is far from selfishness. Attending and listening to our own needs, giving them the value they deserve, supposes a respect for themselves, essential to learn to love.

Considering our own emotions, expressing and accepting them, makes us more authentic people with ease to relate to us from intimacy and trust, not through the fear of being hurt, which only ends in superficial relationships, where we go Adding layers that prevent us from seeing our own ability to love.

"The idea expressed in the biblical verse 'Love your neighbor as yourself' implies that respect for one's own integrity and oneness, love and self-understanding, can not be separated from the respect, love, and understanding of another individual . Love for oneself is inseparably bound up with love for any other being. " 
-Erich Fromm-

We deceive ourselves by thinking that we love
Just as the person who is selfish is incapable of loving, so it is with the person who has a great concern for others, and dedicates himself completely to those around him, disconnecting from himself. In this way, you think you feel so much love that you are able to give up your needs.

This example is easy to see for overprotective mothers and for those who forget about themselves to pay attention to others, and to be at their disposal for when they need them. They are people who pour themselves into the needs of others as if they were their own.

This way of loving can be confused with very good people, who are willing to give themselves unselfishly, and love their neighbor even more than themselves. This conclusion is equally misleading to the selfish self-love. Both forms of love are a self-deception in which an exaggerated compensation for their inability to love is manifested.

"It is easier to understand selfishness by comparing it with avid concern for others, such as we find in an overprotective mother, for example. Although she consciously finds herself extremely affectionate toward her child, she does have a deeply suppressed hostility to the object of her worries. Her exaggerated care is not due to excessive love for the child, but to the fact that she must compensate for her total inability to love him. " 
-Erich Fromm-
As we can prove in the examples of selfish people and people who do not care about themselves, these are two ways in which there is no love for oneself , so there can be no love for other people.

"From this we deduce that my own person must be an object of my love, just as it is the other person. The affirmation of life, happiness, growth and self-freedom are rooted in one's own capacity for love, that is, care, respect, responsibility and knowledge. If an individual is capable of loving productively, he also loves himself; If you only love others, you can not love at all. " 

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Why Won’t God Heal Me?

Lessons about God’s healing through the Life of Paul

Written by Dan Lee on 14/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Sickness, Health, Healing, Prayer, Sovereignty
But He replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
There are many wonderful stories of healing in the Bible. Jesus healed many people of leprosy, blindness, lameness and other ailments. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!

No doubt you have also heard of God healing people today. God still hears our prayers for healing and has the power to heal and do all kinds of miracles.

So you may be wondering, “What about ME?” I, or someone I love, have been struggling with (name the disease) all these years. And I have prayed for healing, fasted, had people lay hands on me. So why have I not been cured?

I’m afraid that there is no simple, easy answer. But there are some principles we can learn from the Apostle Paul’s example. We hope you will find them encouraging.

1. God Has a Purpose
Earlier in this same chapter, we read: “Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan’s angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud.” (2 Corinthians 12:7).

It’s interesting that though Paul’s affliction is never specifically named, the PURPOSE for the affliction is given twice — at the beginning and at the end of verse 7: “so that I would not feel too proud.”

In the beginning of the chapter, we see that Paul had some amazing revelations — he was “caught up into the third heaven” and also “caught up into paradise” (2 Corinthians 12:2-3). These experiences were so spectacular that he would have been tempted to boast about them, or to feel superior to those who had not had these experiences.

So God chose to humble Paul with a “thorn in the flesh.” It was not random, nor a whimsical act on God’s part. It had a very specific purpose.

2. God Can Use Anything
That same verse tells us that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was “a messenger of Satan.” How can that be? Was it from God or from Satan? The answer is it was both! Satan, of course, is set against God and His purposes and His people. Satan probably enjoyed tormenting Paul. But, just as at the cross, Satan’s evil plans were turned around 180 degrees to serve God’s purposes. Satan succeeded in harassing Paul, but the result was that God used it to bring humility in Paul’s life.

3. God’s Strength is Displayed
This principle is stated three times in these two verses, in different ways:

“But he (Christ) replied, ‘My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.”

God wants us to develop our gifts and talents and use them for His glory. But when weak, afflicted people achieve great things, it is clear that GOD is the one who did it and He receives the glory.

Our purpose in life is to glorify God — to show His power and His greatness. And even though our circumstances may be painful or uncomfortable for us, God wants to remind us that it’s the eternal things that matter. “Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

4. We Can be Content
“Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Look at that list — a lot more things than just sickness! And yet in all those things, Paul was content for the sake of Christ, because his ultimate goal in life was God’s glory.

So when you or those you love are battling sickness, by all means, pray. But if God chooses to let an affliction persist, look for what He wants to do IN you and THROUGH you – to be humbled yourself; to show God’s great strength in you; and ultimately to give glory to God.

Pray this week:

Lord, I don’t like this sickness or affliction, and I wish I didn’t have it. But I trust that You have a higher purpose for my life, just as You did the Apostle Paul. Lord, humble me and show Your great power in me through this affliction. Use everything in my life, good and bad, to bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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In the World, Not of the World

Jesus calls us to be different from the World, while making a difference in the World.

Written by Joy on 08/08/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Culture, Life, Light, Sin
“Jesus prayed, ‘They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.’” John 17:16-17

We cannot expect non-believers to have godly moral standards and desire to please God. We can, and should, expect Christians to act differently than the culture that they live in—as different as night and day.

Darkness of World Culture
“This, then is the judgement: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). Human culture is ruled by sin and selfish desires. Without Jesus people are lost in darkness (Matthew 18:10-14), dead in their sin (Ephesians 2:1-5), separated from God (Colossians 1:21-22) and condemned without hope (John 3:18). When you are in the dark, you cannot see the truth.

Remember, that is where we ALL began. (Romans 3:11, 23)

Jesus is the Light of the World
“He (Jesus) has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him.” (Colossians 1:13-14). Becoming a Christian is not about reciting a prayer or going to church. It is a complete transfer of your allegiance from one king to another. It is a radical transformation of your identity. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

Have you been born again? What King do you serve?

Become Born Again

Live as Children of Light
Read Ephesians 4:17-24 and understand that “Christ-followers” must be different from the popular culture that surrounds them. We no longer belong to this world but to God. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world – lust for physical pleasure, a lust for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions- is not from the Father, but is from this world. And this world with its lust is fading away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).

Are you seeking first to please God?

Pray this week:

That God would expose any way that you are letting worldly culture influence you. Ask Jesus to rule your thoughts and actions as your rightful King.

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God’s Faithfulness Each Year

God is Always Faithful

Written by Susan on 03/01/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Everlasting, Promises, Through, Time, New Year
Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am.”

John 8:58
One way God is not like us is that He is outside of time itself. This is not so easy for us to picture, but God explains clearly that He “inhabits eternity” in Isaiah 57:15. We're created beings living in time, so we experience time much differently than our God, who says “I am the first and I am the last.” (Isaiah 48:12). As we look forward to the New Year, how astounding it is to realize that God is already there! How can we relate to someone who says He is "the one who is and was and is coming?" (Revelation 1:8) What we experience in our lifetime has a lot to do with beginnings — and endings; Where is God in all of these times?

He Is.
We like to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day, anniversaries, new beginnings, memories of friends and family, as well as just being in the presence of a loved one. Does God experience time as we do? Does He also like to look back and remember? Does He encourage us to make a fresh start? He does all of these things and more because He is not limited in time as we are. He lives outside of our time, but He is with us inside of our time also in the form of the Holy Spirit. “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) What does that mean? It means that Jesus is in the present with Abraham, just as He is present now with you and me. God’s faithfulness is a miracle. He is.

He Was.
God instructed the Israelites to look back on the way He had worked in their lives, to remember how He had saved them from slavery. Deuteronomy 5:15 says, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” We are also to remember that God’s faithfulness means that He has provided a way to save each person in the world through Jesus Christ, His Son. At just the right time (Galatians 4:4), Jesus came to give Himself as the perfect sacrifice for all sins of those who would trust his name. “By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God” (Hebrews 10:14). He was our complete offering of sin. He has endured the suffering that sin causes and He triumphed over the raging power of sin by rising again. He was.

He Will Be.
For fellow believers, God will always be present with us in every step that we take from this point forward. He is accessible, available, listening, caring and completely present. He promised this to the Jews long ago.

In Genesis 28:15, he reminds His people of the promises in His covenant, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” He also promises us through Jesus that He will always be with us: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39 He will be.

Pray this week:

Jesus, thank You for your promise never to leave or forsake me. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Remind me always that You are fully present with me right now, and You promise that You always will be present in our lives fully. You are faithful. May I know Your presence in a very real way today. Amen.

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Whatever your circumstances, be thankful that God loves you.

How to Thank God for His Wonderful Plan
Whatever your circumstances, be thankful that God loves you.

Written by GodLife on 22/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Love, Thankfulness, God
Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
God created us in an awe-inspiring, magnificent world. He made sure we would not be alone, but have relationships with others. He made us able to appreciate the wisdom of His creation. The melody, texture, fragrance, flavor and spectacle of it impresses each of us. Our rebellion against His love gave Him the supreme opportunity to express it to us in a way we could understand. He did this by entering our world, wearing our flesh and bearing our curse. He has every right to complain: “They know about God, but they don’t honor him or even thank him.” (Romans 1:21) Instead, to those “…that refused to worship me, I said, ‘Here I am!’ All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way.” (Isaiah 65:1b,2) and “…I will always love you; that’s why I’ve been so patient and kind.” (Jeremiah 31:3) He loved you enough not to leave you “living in this world without hope and without God.” (Ephesians 2:12)

Three big thoughts can help transform your thanksgiving and how you give thanks to God…

Acknowledge that God gives us everything we have
God is always reminding us that He doesn’t see us the way others do. He looks at the heart. It’s when our loyalty is divided that we fail to trust God. God wants us to trust that He’ll provide what we need. “What is so special about you? What do you have that you were not given? And if it was given to you, how can you brag?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Remember that God created us for His Glory.
The “wonderful plan” is for us. But it isn’t about us. Jesus Himself is the center of God’s plan. “They are my people — I created each of them to bring honor to me.” (Isaiah 43:7). “And to the glory of God the Father everyone will openly agree, “'Jesus Christ is Lord!'” (Philippians 2:11) Jesus came to save us so that we can live for Him: “He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Recognize that God does everything for our sake.
If God’s purpose is so much bigger than me, does it mean that He doesn’t care if I suffer, as long as His bigger purpose is accomplished? No. It means that He’s willing to delay what He wants: which is you and me, “to be with me, [Jesus] wherever I am. Then they will see the glory that you have given me” (John 17:24). God wants us to be patient because He is patient (2 Peter 3:15). He’s patient because He wants not just us but “everyone to be saved and to know the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

A passage in 2 Corinthians 4:7-5:20 puts it all together. Even life’s struggles are meant to show His power and our faith. We have much to look forward to: “All of this has been done for you, so that more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.” (2 Corinthians 4:15). If we have nothing and can do nothing without Him, if our whole purpose is making the most of Him, and if His whole purpose is what is best for us, we truly can give heartfelt thanks to God, no matter what happens.

Pray this week:

Father, I know it’s always your will for me to be thankful and that it shows my trust in you. Thank you for showing me how much I have to be thankful for!

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Is it really possible to love others?

“Abound in love to one another” (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
God’s second great commandment is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). (The first commandment is to love God – heart, mind, soul and strength.)

I find that loving others can be a difficult assignment, especially when the “others” have treated me badly—for example, those to whom I have loaned money and who have neither repaid the loan, nor have made any attempt to do so. You could be facing a far more difficult situation, such as an unfaithful marriage partner or an abusive parent. Loving such people may seem impossible..

There are two keys to our successfully loving others.

First, loving others is a requirement, not an option. We may not feel like loving someone who has deeply offended us. But God requires us to decide to forgive and love that person in spite of the offense. In my experience, feelings will eventually follow. But the starting point is always a decision—to forgive and to love.

Second, we are only truly able to love others based on God’s love toward and through us. Imagine His love as an inexhaustible river of water flowing into us and out through us to others. He is the source. We are conduits. People we encounter are recipients—very possibly experiencing a quality of love they’ve never known.

Loving others is a privilege and responsibility that comes directly from God’s heart.

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How to Love Your Enemies and Pray for Them

God’s love is hard to understand

Written by Lois on 26/04/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Enemies, Forgiveness, God, Love, Mercy
…may you, having been deeply rooted and securely grounded in love, be fully capable of comprehending…the width and length and height and depth of the love of Christ, fully experiencing that amazing, endless love…

Ephesians 3:17-19 AMP
The love of Christ is so great it can even save His enemies. God’s love reaches out to the whole world and continues through the entire length of our lives. His love is so deep, it can reach you in discouragement and depression. He even reached Lazarus after he had been in His grave four days. This is the Savior’s love.

God is Love
The Bible tells us that if a person knows nothing about love, they can’t know God, because God is love. Jesus displayed His love for His enemies as He was dying. While Jesus was on the cross, He was praying for those who placed the nails in His hands and feet. Is there anyone else who could love like this?

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing” Luke 23:34. Jesus was praying for the Roman politicians and soldiers who were putting Him to death. God responded to this prayer when the soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion admitted the truth by saying, “Truly this was the Son of God.” Matthew 27:54

Do You Offer Love When Offended?
What is your first reaction when you are wronged? Do you plan revenge or show anger? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44, “…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” Many people try to get even and punish people who wrong them. Jesus tells us not to do this. If you pray for your enemies, you can overcome evil with good. When we follow Jesus’ commands, we show that He is Lord over our life. We must trust in the Holy Spirit to help us show love to our enemies.

Have You Forgiven Past Wrongs?
Sometimes we hold grudges, even after a person dies. Matthew 5:44-46 says, “…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven… If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” We are to separate ourselves from sinful behavior and live holy lives. We should live our lives devoted to God’s desires rather than our own. That means we should forgive enemies of the past as well as in those of the present.

Pray this week:

Father, I want to forgive those who have offended me. I want to show mercy to them.

Did you love your enemies and forgive them?

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3 Reasons to Love Your Enemies

3 Reasons to Love Your Enemies
Why You Should NOT Take Revenge

Written by Dan Lee on 03/05/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Enemies, Forgiveness, God, Love, Mercy
Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Matthew 10:28
Last week we saw that Jesus demonstrated how to love and forgive our enemies. Here are three more reasons we should love our enemies:

Vengeance is God’s Business
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19)

When we have been hurt by someone, we naturally want to hurt them back. But God says to let Him take care of it. First of all, He knows, much better than we do, what someone did wrong and what he or she deserves. He is totally just, and his judgments and decisions are 100% correct.

When imperfect humans try to take revenge or carry out “justice,” a never-ending, escalating cycle occurs. In its fullest form, it is known as “war.”

It’s About Eternity
The verse above from Matthew shows that our main concern is not this earthly life (which is like a “vapor” according to James 4:14). Rather, it is eternity. If someone hurts you, steals your property, or even kills you, that is not important in light of eternity.

God has promised His children that we will live in a perfect place, free from want, worry, fear and mourning. No human can take that away from us; so there is no reason to strike back at someone who attacks us.

We Will be Rewarded
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.” (Luke 6:35)

Again, God sets the example: HE is kind to the unthankful and wicked. What right do we have to be less kind than God?

We know that heaven will be wonderful, but God's children will enjoy greater rewards there if we've lived God's way here on earth. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live God’s way, treating people with love and kindness, especially our enemies. And we can trust Him to glorify Himself and to bless us with heavenly rewards.

Pray this week:

Lord, please help me to love others instead of plot revenge. I trust your judgment and will keep my eyes focused on eternity.

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Loving the unlovable demonstrates God’s love for us.

Loving Others
Loving the unlovable demonstrates God’s love for us.

Written by Dan Lee on 15/11/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Love, Enemies, Humility, Pride
If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.

Matthew 5:46
We are surrounded by all kinds of people. Some are easy to love. Others, we tend to ignore. Then there are some that act in ways that makes us want to hate them.

Here are three kinds of people we might tend to look down on, or even hate — and what God’s Word says about them:

1. “Servers”
People of many cultures look down on waiters, clerks, or manual laborers. We act as though they exist only to meet our needs and pay no attention to their feelings.

But Peter says in his letter, “And all of you, serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favors the humble.’” (1 Peter 5:5)

God’s love means having a humble heart for others.

2. “Sinners”
Jesus told a story about two people praying in the temple: a Pharisee and a despised tax collector. The Pharisee prayed, “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else . . . I’m certainly not like that tax collector!” (Luke 18:11)

The tax collector, on the other hand, prayed, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

Jesus said, “I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

God’s love is available to all, including sinners.

3. “Strangers”
The news today is full of stories about people hating each other because of their race, their beliefs or their feelings toward us.

But Jesus said, “Love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-28)

God’s love even reaches those who oppose and slander Him.

Conclusion
Every human being is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). When we disrespect or hate another person, we are disrespecting God. As Jesus said when asked to sum up the commandments, he gave just two: Love God, and “Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

When, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we humbly love the Servants, the Sinners, and the Strangers in our lives, people will see God’s love (see also John 13:35), and the Lord Jesus will be glorified.

Pray this week:

Lord, there are many unlovable people in my life. Please give me Your Holy Spirit’s power to love with a humble heart and pray for them, and to bring You glory.

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