Today’s Verse Illustrated
Thoughts on Today’s Verse….
“Practice what you preach!” “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.” “Put your life where your mouth is!” Those of us who speak out most openly about our faith in Jesus also need to make sure that we hold ourselves accountable to the same standard we are calling others to follow.
Father in Heaven, please help my walk to be consistent with my talk and may my talk always be pleasing to you! In Jesus’ glorious name I pray. Amen.
Choices. You’re bombarded daily with ideas or products that promise to enrich your lives. But here are four radical choices in life you can make–four “actions” you can take–that will not only change your life, but also the lives of others around you:
1. Love Your Enemies
Love does strange things to people. You can’t control if or how it affects those who hate you. But you can make the radical choice. And it will change you. Praying for your enemies? Definitely. The two go together, like hamburgers in a bun.
“But I say, love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45, NLT).
2. Turn the Other Cheek
And get clobbered? Are you kidding? No one likes to suffer, especially if you’re doing what’s right. Turning the other cheek doesn’t mean ignoring evil. But it does mean assigning revenge to the One who introduced this radical choice.
If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39, NIV).
3. Go the Second Mile
Too much to ask? What’s required is normal, and expected. But moving beyond what you are asked or expected to do, going the second mile, is divine. And if done for the right reason, in kindness and in love without being asked, this radical action won’t promote pride or ladder-climbing. But it will change you and others.
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (Matthew 5:41, NIV).
4. Forgive One Another, as You Have Been Forgiven
Too hard? For sure! Holding grudges. The very word sounds grungy, don’t you think? Others may not accept your offer of forgiveness. And none of us deserve it. But releasing anger, hurt, and bitterness to God instead of projecting those emotions on others will not only change you. It will set you free.
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. (Matthew 6:14, NLT).
We Need Jesus’ Help to Make These Choices in Life
Only Jesus can help you make these radical choices in life. And only Jesus can bring the change in you, and in others. You can’t change your own life or the lives of others, but Jesus can.
Can we become a Christian by doing these things? No. We do these things–we love–because God first loved us. And because we are Christians, followers of Christ.
When by faith and repentance we choose to follow Jesus, He does the changing and helps us to do the choosing.
My Personal Prayer for You
Lord, You know us thoroughly, because You created us. Our weaknesses glare, especially when it involves how we treat our enemies. You forgave Your enemies, including us, because we were all enemies of Yours before we experienced Your grace, forgiveness, and salvation.
You first loved us. Help us to love others too. Although that’s a hard thing to do, it is not impossible. Your love changes us inside and out. When it comes to making the right choices in life, Lord, we truly need Your divine help. Our world is waiting and watching for those who will take You at Your Word and choose love, not hate.
*You might also like this post I wrote, called What God’s Love Does for Us.
It’s Your Turn
How have these choices affected you? How hard is it for you to make these choices in life? I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the e-mail will come to me. We will not share your name or info with anyone without your permission.
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Some Personal Thoughts…
This pandemic has affected the entire world, and I am part of this world. I don’t think it will ever be over….at least, not completely…remnants will always be here to remind us of how frail we all are and how easily we can be hurt and damaged.
Here, in my home, not only do we have to deal with the effects of the virus, but also with having to worry how our rent and bills will be paid……my measly Social Security monthly check only goes so far. After paying most of the bills, I am left with maybe $90 and the rent is $300, so now we have to still worry about being put out.
Foodwise, we do okay. It’s having cash for bills and necessities that’s really depressing. My fella can’t work due to an accident he was in nearly 2 years ago and this causes him great mental stress and anxiety.
Each day, I pray for the Lord to see us through this awful ordeal. I try to keep our spirits lifted but even I get discouraged at times. It’s been so long since we’ve had money for even the simplest of luxuries! Sometimes, I question God…”Why is this happening?”
Two weeks ago, I fell through our back porch steps and my leg still isn’t healed. It throbs and aches and I tell myself that it’s my thorn to bear, like Paul’s…..to remind myself not to question God’s wisdom and ways!!
Today is National Daughter’s Day…..I think I’ll message my daughter……let her know how very much I love her……….
Thanks for reading and God bless you all!!!!