God Has No Favorites!

“I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God.” Acts 10:34-35. Who do you need to extend grace to? 


Challenge: How did you Love someone this week?

Day 16: Saturday, March 18, 2017, #Lent Devotion

Day 16: Saturday, March 18, 2017
Rev. Sela Finau
Scripture: Luke 6:27-42
27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.[a] Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s[b] eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your neighbor,[c] ‘Friend,[d] let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s[e] eye.

Devotion: I know, you are thinking, why did I include so much of the biblical texts? Why did I not just reference it? The truth is I know that you would probably not take the time to look up the passage. Or for some of you, you may even skip through the pasted Scripture text thinking you already know what it says. Who are we kidding? We all do that. But studying and meditating requires that we read and re-read God’s words many times over. Our understanding of Scripture may be different today than a year or two ago, and it may be different a year or two from now. It is not that Scripture have changed, it is us who have hopefully changed as we grow in faith and knowledge of God. 

This passage is very important. Jesus said to love our enemies and to do good things for those who dislike or hate us. Essentially Jesus challenges us to be different, that is, to love like God. God is merciful and kind even to the wicked and ungrateful. Anyone can love his or her friends. But how do we treat someone well who has hurt us? How do we give without expectation of return? How do we begin to love as God love?
Similarly, Jesus said not to judge others but to first examine ourselves and deal with our faults while not being critical of others. Many times, we feel good about denigrating others and we talk about people behind their backs. We speak harsh words and expect the person to just take it. The Bible instructs us to correct one another when necessary, but in a spirit of gentleness, as harsh criticism is not a fruit of the Spirit.
During the season of Lent, may we all take the time to meditate on the word of God and study Scripture, have self-examination, sincerely repent, and be in prayer.
Prayer: Oh God, sometimes it is difficult to love those who have hurt us. May you help us to be merciful and gracious as you are. Help us to forgive and love our enemies. Amen