The Way of Love – Valuing Others Regardless of Merit - Thursday, September 5th

The Way of Love – Valuing Others Regardless of Merit - Thursday, September 5th

Then Jonah went out from the city and sat east of it. There he made a shelter for himself and sat under it in the shade until he could see what would happen in the city. So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant. But God appointed a worm when dawn came the next day and it attacked the plant and it withered. When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life." Then God said to Jonah, "Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?" And he said, "I have good reason to be angry, even to death." Then the LORD said, You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight. Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?” Jonah 4:5-11

Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the LORD endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25

But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

Often our wrong attitudes and actions toward others are due to the simple fact that we think that we measure up and they don’t. We involve ourselves with those who merit our involvement and kindly treatment and we justify our non-involvement and mistreatment of those who fall short. God freely extends His love and forgiveness to all and welcomes those that know they don’t measure up and are in need of a Savior. And of course we must do the same and we will, if we let God change us from the inside out so that we value others in the same way He does. Once and for all, we must let it penetrate and settle fully and deeply into our hearts and souls that there is no measuring up in the sphere of God’s kingdom.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I guess I am more like Jonah than I realized. Whether it’s because of prejudice, pride, cultural conditioning, or just plain fear, there are those I write off just like Jonah did with Nineveh. Forgive me for all my wrong attitudes and actions toward others. Help me to value everyone regardless of merit. Thank you for valuing and regarding me freely just because you love me and because you want to. Amen!

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