|TODAY’S THE CROSS DEVOTIONAL
WHAT CAN YOU GIVE?
““You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father 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 have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?
Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” Mt. 6:38
“and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:15
The Lord has been working on my heart in a certain matter. The matter of hurt. Yes, big, hard, hurt. The kind of hurt that causes the heart to want to run and run and run away somewhere safe and secure and protected from any more hurt. But what has the Lord spoken to my heart about this hurt? Specifically right now when it comes to one particular person and the way the person is hurting me?
The Lord has made known to me He doesn’t want me to run from the person. He wants me to GIVE to the person! Can you imagine? To GIVE to the very person hurting me? Would the Lord really call us to do something like this? Always, always, always measure what you believe you hear from the Lord against the Bible. The Lord always and only speaks in line with it. Read the verses above. Read the Bible in its entirety. The Lord is so very clear when it comes to loving Him with all our hearts and loving others – even when they hurt us!
Oh, yes, there are times the Lord calls us to walk away. To distance ourselves. To take a time of separation. To end a relationship. When it’s His will, that is what we must do. But even then, we are to love and to forgive. But what about when He calls us to stay in someone’s life and to love, to forgive, and to GIVE to the very person who is breaking our hearts? What must we do? LOVE AND OBEY THE LORD! So we must GIVE!
But how? Isn’t this impossible? Doesn’t this hurt like crazy? Doesn’t our flesh feel like it’s dying when we have to humble ourselves and GIVE in such cases? Oh, yes, we may feel like our flesh is dying! And so it is! And we are very much so called by Jesus to DIE TO SELF and to LIVE FOR HIM.
How can we do this? As Christ’s followers, we are filled with His Spirit. We can ask for a fresh filling of His Spirit. We can pray, pray, pray – for the other person and for ourselves that we might obey the Lord. And, in Christ’s strength, His love, mercy, compassion, caring, kindness, hope, joy, peace, and forgiveness, we can GIVE to the very person He calls us to give to.
Oh, how my flesh wants to RUN, RUN, RUN. But I will stay. I will stay and LOVE and FORGIVE and GIVE to this person – and to any others the Lord desires – IN THE STRENGTH OF CHRIST FOR THE GLORY OF CHRIST. Amen!
Is this message for you, friend?