By Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading for the day: Matthew 18:21-35
Scripture Quote: “But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For He gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.” John 3:16-21 (NLT)
Yes, even the most corrupt of individuals loves someone else. Love is not achieved in its truest sense, though, until it is given in the face of rejection or bitterness. To find compassion and to offer prayers for an abuser’s soul takes the kind of love obtained only from a perfect God. We are incapable of that depth of love on our own. We must decide to try to love the offensive person and then let God’s love strengthen ours and filter through us.
There are so many times in life that we are hurt by others, either intentionally or inadvertently. God really does want us to cherish love so much that we are willing to sacrifice anything, including our hurt feelings or pride in order to hold love up as the ultimate demonstration of a life changed by Christ’s sacrifice.
Meditation for today: “The master magnet of the gospel is not fear, but love. Penitents are drawn to Christ rather than driven.” Charles Surgeon
Memory Verse: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” Psalm 42:1(NLT)