|photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
For the same love He has extended to me through faith in Jesus Christ, the same mercy and compassion, the same forgiveness, the same sweet kindness and tenderness, He has enabled me to have this for others. All the time? No. But more and more. More often than ever. So why not all the time? The only reason is this. My flesh still gets in the way at times. But more and more, I am learning to deny my flesh, to take up my cross as the Lord calls us to do, and to follow Jesus as He calls and equips me to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgivable, to extend mercy to those who seem least to deserve it.
Christ died on the cross for the ungodly. He died while we were still sinners. God gave up His only begotten Son for us – so we could repent and believe in Jesus and be forgiven, so we could live in a relationship with God now on earth and spend eternity in heaven instead of hell, and so we can love. Yes, so we can love. Not so we can turn back to our old ways. But so we can learn to live according to His ways. And the Lord’s way is one of love. My enemy is no longer my enemy. My enemy is my opportunity to do what God has done for me. To love. To forgive. Not for my sake. But for His. The one who was once my enemy, this one I now call friend.
Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rom 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.