Thursday, February 25, 2016

Love & Devotion (19 of 21)

Luke 6:32 (New Living Translation) "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them!"
-Love School

Jesus is teaching about love in Luke 6:27-36, which is cool but the object of the affection isn't the loveable but the un-loveable...our enemies. As you're reading this, I hope it's not with a self-righteous attitude as if this is easy to emulate. I'm your pastor, your spiritual leader but I struggle with this same principle, just like you if you're honest about it.

The tone of the text is that love isn't exceptional but it's the standard! We must move beyond love of those who treat us right, to loving people who don't care about us back. That's hard to do but not impossible. This is a measure of our Christian maturity. With love/God living in us and we're being loved by him, loving other people that negatively affects our lives is the standard of those saved by God's grace.

Here's the bottom line: loving our enemies is hard to do when we attempt to love them in our own strength. Love them with the love of Jesus. Sinners/people who don't know God love those who treat them good, but the standard is higher for believers. Be different from them and love with everyone with ease. There's no extra credit for it, other than the satisfaction in knowing that you're looking more and more like Jesus with every enemy that you love. Class is dismissed!

*I hope that these Love & Devotion writings have been beneficial to you and your spiritual formation. As we're winding the month down, I want to prepare you for next month's devotions. Daily, I'll write responses to your most pressing questions. You can begin to send them in now. Remember that each of you has your own personal number for me, so you don't have to worry about anyone seeing your question as you text. I look forward to hearing what you all are curious about!

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