“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get 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 is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
Reading through Matthew this week, I was caught by Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mountain in chapter 5:43 and following. Then I cross referenced that over to Luke 6 (the text above). Wow! I know a lot of Christians. I mean, I know thousands of Christians…personally.
I know few people that live this out. When I think about this text, very few folks come to mind.
How about you? You know lots of believers. Do you know anyone that lives this out? Or how about this… When your friends and family and neighbors and co-workers think about this text and question, do you come into their minds? Are you who they think of when they think of love and giving and selflessness like this?
I pray that we will take Jesus’ words seriously.
The last 2 days, which are the first 2 days of the NewThru30 challenge for our church, have been incredible. I have been giddy excited to jump in and be reading God’s Word.
God has already caught my attention in some mighty ways. Wow, we are only 2 days into it!
Notice with me what I have seen as I’m reading through Matthew,
In Matt. 3:11, John the Baptist speaking of Jesus says he is not worthy to carry his sandals.
In Matt. 8:8, the centurion while asking for help tells Jesus “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof”.
By grace, I echo both these men.I am not worthy of Christ. And that is why grace is amazing. And peace is beyond all comprehension. And mercies are new every morning. And love is greatest. Because Jesus has saved us who are unworthy.
My prayer is that there will be more people in Fairdale who confess they are not worthy of Jesus, and by faith love Him because worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
I am about to finish this mighty book, Why Revival Tarries.
On one of the last pages Leonard Ravenhill writes, “At the judgment seat the most embarassing thing the believer will face will be the smallness of his praying.”
God has gotten my full attention through this small book. I know that prayer is important. It has been my highest priority in my beginning months as the pastor in Fairdale to lead us to pray more. We pray more. We pray quite a bit. We have a goal of praying 2 whole hours a week corporately as a church. That seems to me to be a lot. But we are almost there.
But our goal is not merely to pray a lot, but instead to have powerful prayer lives. It is our desire to know God well. We want to ask…and receive.
God, give us the ability to pray big and not be embarassed.