Luke 17-19 Jesus continues His ministry, and we get to see Him come into His own as Lord and King when He returns to Jerusalem. In this place, Jesus is both the most loved and the most hated all at the same time. We are able to see the results of all He has been doing and saying in the world. It becomes clear that those who know Him, are sure of His majesty and power. Just like us, their lives, friends and strangers alike, are better because of Him.
Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love God; and therefore, we are to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22: 34-39). I get that. Then, we realize there's more to it as Jesus keeps teaching. He tells us today,
3 So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Jesus is calling us to tough love coupled with forgiveness. I understand that too. Another thing, though, Jesus tells us is not to judge others (Matthew 7:1-2). I can even follow that concept, by itself. But, I get confused in my faith on how to balance all of these teachings in living out God's will for my life moment to moment. It is tricky, knowing how and what to do when. I feel the weight of my responsibility as a Christian.
I am hoping the key, at least for me, is knowing I don't know, understanding that I don't understand it all. That means I have to look for God's advice, moment to moment. For sure, God calls me to love, but how He calls me to love another as myself, with mercy and forgiveness, is dependent on the situation. Sometimes, that will mean tough love because God desires our personal best. Just thinking about that fills me with worry and uncertainty, insufficiency even...
And as fast as the doubt comes into my head and I type, God fills my heart with His promise to be with me and give me all that I need every second of every day. He is my guide, and if I stay close to Him, He can work out the tricky details.
Do you ever struggle with balancing all that God is calling you to do in this life? How do you work it out? How do you decide what to do?
A prayer for today-
Thank you for Your amazing, unconditional love. It is so comforting and empowering, so deep, so wide, so nourishing, so perfect. I pray you will help me know how to love the people You put in my life. Just as You make each person unique in Your own image and purpose, so my love for others should also be. I pray You will show me how You need me to love, moment to moment. I pray for Your love to fill the lives of those on my mind today.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,
Blessings today and always,