Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14
But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:1-5
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
The impact of unloving people in the world in which we live is not something that we can escape. The spirit of the world is not naturally one of love, but rather one of selfishness and self-determination. And so apart from God’s intervention we are both the recipients and dispensers of unloving actions in an arena where people unlovingly clash again and again as each one pursues his own ends and purposes. While we cannot escape being on the receiving end of unloving behavior, we can become ones who exchange the dispensing of unloving actions for the dispensing of loving actions toward others, particularly toward those people who don’t like us and we find hard to like in return.
But this requires preparation, a re-tooling of our hearts and minds, if you will. We must be prepared ahead of time for the encounters we will have with such people. Have we really embraced being agents of God’s love in our relationships with all people? Are we willing to drop our preferences, dump our hurts, abandon our fears, forsake our own ends and purposes and put on a garment of love on behalf of people we have previously not wanted to love? The way of love is truly a choice, but one that is made ahead of time and allows us both to give up the unloving ways of ugliness, pain, and harm and to engage with others truly prepared to bestow beauty, love, and healing in a free and abundant way.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I recognize how vital it is for me to renounce selfishness and self-determination in my own life in favor of surrender and dependence in my relationship with you. I know this is the only solution for giving up unloving ways in all my relationships. I devote myself to being prepared and I promise to count on you for the transformation I need for forsaking the dispensing of ugliness, pain, and harm in favor of bestowing beauty, love, and healing. Amen!
Posted on Wed, October 3, 2018
by Ken Hart