Word for the Day: Unconditional
Read: Matthew 5:43-48
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God- created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best- the sun to warm and the rain to nourish- to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it, Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love- so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us. God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about- not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.
1. What gets in the way of love? For others? For God?
2. What are some ways we can overcome the obstacles?
3. What is your definition of an enemy? Do you have any enemies?
4. What does unconditional love mean for you? How do you receive or share unconditional love?
5. How will you try to share unconditional love today?
Gracious God, We thank you for your presence in our life. Help us to always know and never forget you are present in all that happens in our lives. Strengthen us with the courage to live in love. Give us hearts that can forgive, hearts that can include and spirits that can do what you call us to do. Amen.