|©Katie Lloyd Photography. Used with permission.|
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Father, here I am before you, reading and meditating on the words of Jesus. Lord, forgive me for I have many times resisted the one who is evil, and have not offered my other cheek, or my cloak. I have not walked two miles with my enemies (and here I am thinking of those who are the enemies of the true gospel, those who teach false doctrines, and deceive many with arguments of men). I am so quick to judge and not quick to extend grace. Give me the same love that moved Jesus to pray for the redemption of his enemies on the cross. I so need it.
Lord, forgive me for I have not given myself to my brothers and sisters, to my neighbors. "There is always a limit," Isn't that what we have been hearing so many times? But in these words of my Jesus, in His life I see that Grace has no limits. Grace gives and gives and gives.
Father, help me to love by giving and praying. Help me to love with my heart and with my hands. Help me to rejoice when your rain falls on the dry land of the unjust. Help me to greet the one I don't like, the one with whom I don't like to share a table. Help me, Lord, to love like you have loved me.
Father, Oh Father, make me whole, make me complete in You. Make me perfect, lacking nothing; that your name may be glorified when others see my conduct not only toward those whom I naturally love but towards those that my heart wants to despise. I want to be known as your daughter and extend love and grace as You have clearly showed me in your Word to do.
In the Name of my loving Savior Jesus,