OCTOBER 29 - NOVEMBER 1 | 2019

WEEKLY DEVOTION

Called to a Higher Standard

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Loving Our Enemies.

It's easy to love others when they love you back, but God doesn't call us to an easy life. Instead, He calls us to a better one. When Jesus was here on Earth, he fulfilled the Old Testament and gave us a new covenant to follow. In doing so, He calls us to a higher standard. He teaches us to not retaliate, and to be truthful people always. He teaches us to love our enemies.

Jesus presents a completely different and counter-cultural way of living. Instead of calling us to live like everyone else, He calls us to love those who mistreat us, and pray for them. God's love for us is unconditional, and we reflect that when we love all people, rather than picking and choosing. This kind of love isn't easy, but it will lead others to Christ in the process.

Prayer

Jesus,  

Thank you for giving us the perfect example of what love should look like, and for loving us unconditionally. During this week, may we learn to love everyone despite our feelings for them. Let us see others through your eyes. We ask that you help us to be more like you each and every day. We give this week to you. We thank you, we love you, and we praise you. Amen.

Reflection

  • What specific examples of Jesus loving those who hated him can you look to and follow?

  • 'Probably the most profound thing in the Bible is 'Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you.' This is what, to me, is the essence of Christianity.' - Dave Brubeck. Discuss the quote with your group.

Songs

'More to Come' Passion

'Glorious Ruins' Hillsong Worship

'So Will I' Hillsong Worship