Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Digging Deeper: A Devotional from Last Weekend

Matthew 22:37-37
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus replied with this answer when the disciples asked Him which law was most important. I would have expected something like come to church 3 times a week or read your Bible and pray every day. But Jesus gives a simple, straight forward answer; love me and love people. Everything else in our lives hinges off our obedience to these commands.

As easy as that sounds, most of us have come to understand that loving people isn’t all that easy. This last Sunday morning we talked about letting the people in our lives become obstacles in our “race”. This might take the form of anger, jealousy, insecurities, a temptation to gossip, or the desire for revenge. Whatever it might be in your life, you need to let God heal you. You need to forgive the person who hurt you. Finally you must honestly love them with your actions.

It blows my mind whenever I think about the sacrifice Jesus made simply because he loved us. We mess up and continually make poor choices, but he loves us just where we’re at. This love he has for you is the same exact love he has for the person, who ruined your reputation, lied to you, gossiped about you, or hurt you in any way.

Forgiveness is not easy, but it’s necessary. The longer we hold on to grudges or a need for revenge, the more bitter and depressed we become. Ask God to heal you from a stubborn heart and help you forgive the people in your life.

Remember God loves you just as much as He loves every other person.

The church is such a great place to learn from each other and help out. This week I challenge you to make a list of 3-5 people who you don’t get along with or have a grudge towards and commit to praying for them. It can be short and simple, but let’s work on that. Also, something that has helped me when I start having mean thoughts or feelings of jealousy towards another person, I try my hardest to turn that thought into a prayer. Forgiveness is not easy and it takes God’s help.

I want to hear your thoughts/experiences and I know the other people have a lot to learn from what you share. Maybe share some of your past struggles with forgiveness and how you dealt with it.
- Why is forgiveness so hard? What keeps us from loving people?
- What does forgiveness look like?
- How to we show people we love them?
Feel free to share, ask questions, and just learn from each other.

Lindsey Horne is a Uturn Jr. High Adult Volunteer and is currently attending Northwest University in Kirkland, WA.

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