In Luke 6-7, Jesus is doing lots of teaching and healing. He makes connections with so many people. He basically tells us "how" we are to love one another the way God, our Heavenly Father, loves us. Jesus calls His twelve "apostles," also known as His disciples. I learned the difference today between a disciple and an apostle. I have always used those two words interchangeably without knowing what I was saying. In case you are wondering about the distinction, a disciple is one who is taught by the one he/she is following. An apostle is someone who has actually seen the person he/she is teaching others about.
The scripture that is speaking to me, specifically, today is about love.
It is so obvious to me how perfect and extravagant Jesus' love is for me, and how imperfect my love is for others. People hurt me, and I want to run from them. I shut down, but that's not what Jesus wants me to do.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Yes, I love and get hurt. I also have to remember that as much as I love, I also hurt others, even without realizing it. It's just part of being an imperfect human being. I have specific people in my mind. I love them again and again, but getting them to love me back is a struggle at times, conditional even. It's hard work. Wow, I am sure God has felt that way about me at different times in my faith journey. Thankfully, in Christ, I am forgiven. And since Christ loves me so much that only by God's grace I am forgiven...well, I have to give others that same grace. I am supposed to love the unlovable. Instead of running away for protection, I need to look up and find strength in my Savior so that I can love without worry or fear or hesitation. The love I have, that I receive, is a free and unconditional, beautiful gift from God. It won't run out, and nothing can separate me from that love. Thank goodness God never gives up on me! He shows me the way as many times as I need Him to!
A prayer for today-
Thank you for your amazing love. Thank you for the grace I have in Jesus. Today I pray for the relationships in my life that are a struggle. Heal these relationships [name the people involved], past hurts, resentment, and anger. Help us let go of all that separates us from You, Lord. Fill my relationships with Your grace and love. Help us to forgive, and strengthen us as family and friends in Christ.
In Jesus' name I pray,
May the Lord bless you and keep you,