August 29 - September 3
Monday, August 29 – “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) This is where it all started. The nature of God is love. And in this Old Testament verse, God teaches you to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Jesus doesn’t do away with this command. He fulfills it, with the bonus of showing us how. For, in his sacrificial death, Jesus moves us from loving each other like we love ourselves. To loving each other like Jesus loved us.
Tuesday, August 30 – “And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2) God didn’t need to come as Jesus, in order to save you. You needed God to come as Jesus, in order to be saved. Jesus is your living, breathing and dying example of what a saved life looks like. He is your go to. Your resource. Your measuring stick. Jesus is the way of love, that God is calling you to today. Don’t worry about all the rest. Simply follow him.
Wednesday, August 31 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) You don’t love others because of social or national ties or geographic location or least of all because you like the other person. Your love for others is grounded in the fact that they are fellow sinners, saved by grace through faith in Jesus, just like you. You do what you do because of who you are. You love others because you were first loved by God, through Jesus.
Thursday, September 1 – “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) “Bear and forgive”, now that’s hard. So hard that it’s impossible to successfully accomplish on your own. If you could, you would, but you can’t, so you don’t. I’m not even going to pretend to know what this means in your life today. All I know is that God desires for you to read these words and to think about bearing and forgiving. What you do with all of this is totally up to you. Just know that whatever this means to you today, you aren’t alone.
Friday, September 2 – “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.” (1 John 2:3) If you are wondering if you know Jesus, not know about Jesus but follow Jesus. Reread today’s verse. Well, do you? Do you keep his commands? Do you love others as Jesus loved you? Are you walking with others or are you walking over others? Are you making disciples? Do you live to serve or to be served? Are you casting the first stone or are you forgiving others? Are you investing your life into others? No guilt. No condemnation. Just you getting real. So that God can be real to you.
Saturday, September 3 – “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” (John 10:18) Your life is full of choices. This very fact is a gift from God. For God loves you so much that he gave you the choice to either lay down your life right now, to the lordship of Jesus. Or you can make the choice to walk away. That’s love. For anything else would be no choice at all. And where is the power in that? Your “Yes” is only powerful if “No” is an option. If there is no “No”, then your “Yes” isn’t a choice. This weekend, will you make the choice to lay down your life?