Begin your time with God in prayer.
Praise God for who He is. Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him. Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life.
Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart.
Read Mark 12:30-31 out loud.
"My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?" James 2:1-5
One of our biggest challenges is to love people the way Jesus did, to be willing to love everyone regardless of their status, economic status, ethnicity, talents, looks, religion, friends, etc. The sad thing is that it is our own sinful hearts that make loving difficult. We are often concerned about what people will think or how much time or money it will take. We cannot love everyone, but we can change how we think. We can leave the house each day ready to share God’s love with those whom God puts in our path.
Apply God’s Word to your life.
· Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart. Whom do you treat differently and why? It will be painful, but in order to love like Jesus, you need to do it.
· What excuses do you make to rationalize this choice?
· Pick one person today that you would not normally encourage and encourage them.
Father, thank you for loving me in spite of all my sins, bad habits and hang-ups. Forgive me for all the times I have let differences put a barrier between me and other people. Help me learn to see people through Your eyes. Teach me how to love those who cross my path. Amen.
Related verses to meditate on:
"If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers." James 2:8-9
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10
Posted on Mon, January 20, 2014
by Sam Petitfils