Keep No Accounts (17 October 2018)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you. Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, don’t stop that person from slapping you on the other cheek. If someone wants to take your coat, don’t try to keep back your shirt. Give to everyone who asks and don’t ask people to return what they have taken from you. Treat others just as you want to be treated.

If you love only someone who loves you, will God praise you for that? Even sinners love people who love them. If you are kind only to someone who is kind to you, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners are kind to people who are kind to them. If you lend money only to someone you think will pay you back, will God be pleased with you for that? Even sinners lend to sinners because they think they will get it all back.

But love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel. Have pity on others, just as your Father has pity on you.

Luke 6:27-36

Reflect:

Have you ever had your wallet stolen? Or lent someone a book and never got it back? Has someone you thought was a friend spread false gossip about you, or a colleague taken credit for your work? I wonder how you felt, and how you wanted to respond, whether or not you acted on that first impulse. A natural reaction to being hurt or mistreated is to hurt or mistreat back.

Jesus had a different blueprint for the way his followers were to conduct themselves. They were to love against all the odds; give without counting the cost or the worthiness of the recipient; refuse to exact revenge for wrongs done against them.

And in so doing, they would be blessed beyond measure.

Respond:

Ask Jesus to help you as you seek to behave according to the principles of his kingdom and not the world’s.

Midday Meditation:

“…when we are personally injured our world does not suddenly become our injury. We have a larger view of our life and our place in God’s world. We see God; we see ourselves in his hands. And we see our injurer as more than the one who has imposed on us or hurt us. We recognise his humanity, his pitiful limitations (shared with us), and we also see him under God. This vision, and the grace that comes with it, enables the prayer: “Father forgive them, for they do not really understand what they are doing.”

(Dallas Willard)

Evening Reflection:

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger, abounding in love….

He does not treat us as our sins deserve

Or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is his love for those who fear him…

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,

And his kingdom rules over all.”

(From Psalm 103 NIV)

 

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