PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Whenever I contemplate Jesus, I think that His ability to love everyone – no matter who they are or what they do – is one of His greatest miracles. Because let’s face it… some people make it downright difficult to love them.
One of the things I’ve been praying about a lot is that God will grant me the ability to see everyone I meet through the lens of His grace. But I need an “Under Construction” sign taped across my forehead because it’s an ongoing work-in-progress.
Most of us struggle with this. We love people who are like us. We fight the ongoing battle with our self-righteous side that wants to be indignant at any perceived offense. Or we simply refuse to step out of our comfort zone to connect with people who are different than us, so we reserve our love for those we deem “worthy.”
This whole concept was played out in a Texas courtroom this very week when Brandt Jean hugged the murderer of his brother in court. Talk about love in action. The forgiveness part is an entirely different level than anything I’ve ever known and the grace shown – WOW. Jesus must be so proud of this young man. What a powerful demonstration of Jesus’ love for the world to see.
He loved someone who robbed him, not only of his brother but a lifetime of memories that were yet to be made. Our society would say he was justified in hating her. That forgiveness wasn’t deserved. But therein lies the whole core of the discussion.
Love is a gift without strings. We don’t love in order to get. We don’t love because someone deserves it. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
In John 13:35 ESV, Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
With that in mind, do we have a choice? If we want to fulfill the Great Commission to spread the Gospel, we have to identify ourselves as Christian. We can’t do that if we don’t adhere to the commandment Jesus laid out.
I see more and more of a need for this. We have such compromised values to the point that many Christians don’t look that different than the world. We are called to be set apart, and to be set apart, we have to model ourselves after Jesus – not the world.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the miracle of His love. Thank Him for loving us though we don’t deserve it. Thank Him for the courage of the young man who modeled what it is to love like Jesus. And ask the Holy Spirit to help you see everyone through the eyes of Jesus so that you can love them and show yourself to be a follower of Jesus.