Sunday, January 15, 2023
Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
Jesus made today's Scripture clearer and even more powerful for us:
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven." 
No matter how impossible this principle feels, loving those who hate us is the Lord's powerful "eraser-of-evil." This eraser has power to heal division,  dissolve hatred,  and release the heart of a disciple to live in the power of the Spirit. 
Thankfully, God demonstrated His "eraser-of-evil" principle to us when He sent Jesus to die and save us. God did this while we were "powerless," "ungodly," "sinners," and "enemies" of God.  In other words, God love His enemies by sending Jesus! God then gave us the power to follow his example since His "love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  So, as impossible as this principle seems, let's commit to trusting into the Spirit's power and as the Spirit transforms us to be more like Jesus. By the Spirit's power, we can return good for evil, blessing for cursing, and love for hate.  We cannot control what people do to us or say about us or say to us, but we can ask the Spirit to guide our responses and reflect the grace and transforming love of Jesus in all of our relationships!
O, Father, loving my enemies and returning love when others are hateful to me and even hate me seems too hard for me to do. My flesh, selfishness, and self-defensiveness push back, my anger rises, and I want to "get even" and "get back" at the other person. Please, dear Lord, forgive me. Cleanse my heart of all spite, hatred, and malice toward others. Fill me, Holy Spirit, and cleanse me. Reanimate my spirit and conform me to my Savior so I can love with your redeeming and transformative love. In Jesus' name, I beg for this grace and power to be genuine in me. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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