Paying Grace Forward – Beloved Women – July 9, 2020
READ: “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.” (Matthew 5:44-45a ESV)
TODAY’S ENCOURAGEMENT: Matthew 5 declares my love and prayers are not only for the people who will hold my hand. They should also be for people who don’t like my hand’s color or who don’t appreciate my hand’s work. Ouch!
Today’s verse feels like a big request. But it comes from a Big-hearted God.
If anyone knows the power of loving and praying for His enemies, it’s Jesus. He allowed a betrayer to be one of His disciples. (Luke 6:12-16) He died on the Cross for soldiers gambling away His garments. (Luke 23:33-35) He knew every sin I’d commit; yet, He still forgives me and calls me to fellowship with Him daily. (1 John 1:5-9)
Being forgiven sets us free. Maybe that’s why we struggle to give forgiveness to someone who’s wronged us. What if they go free from taking responsibility? God knows how to handle that. I’d rather focus on being free from hatred, bitterness and fear.
Every child of God starts out as His enemy, until we place our faith in Christ. (Romans 5:9-11) Loving and praying for my enemies allows me to pay His grace forward. It’s my moment to show what Christ’s power and forgiveness means to me.
PRAY: Dear God, Forgiveness is a holy response to those who have wronged us. Through Christ, You’ve forgiven me. When I’m hurt or angered by others, in my humanity I struggle. Forgive me for withholding the very grace that sets me free. Help me to pay Your grace forward and trust how You’ll right every wrong. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.
REFLECT: How can you trust God with the “big request” of forgiving someone else?
CONNECT: Find more encouragement from Joy A. Williams at www.joyawilliams.com. Subscribe to joyAwilliams.com and receive a free PDF of “Say So Long to Sidetracked,” a biblical approach to overcoming distractions. It’s a great tool for personal study or to share with a group.
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© 2020 by Joy A. Williams. All rights reserved.
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