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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mercy is having the power to punish someone who deserves it and choosing not to. That kind of grace should be very familiar to you! Mercy is the entire reason you and I are still breathing, and it’s our hope for life after death. God sent His one and only Son to take the punishment you deserved; an act of mercy that won’t be outdone. You and I ought to be merciful because of the unimaginable mercy we’ve received. As Christ’s followers, the least we can do is show our enemies a sliver of the compassion and grace that the Lord had for us and continues to give us every day.
Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Meekness isn’t weakness, not according to Christ. Moses was meek and lowly, having run away from his birthplace of Egypt, and refusing to go back out of fear. He wasn’t a fearless leader or a charismatic public speaker, but in obeying God’s calling, he became the voice of the children of Israel. God loves using the small to accomplish what the “strong” never could. Remember that the twelve disciples, heroes of the faith, were once but fishermen and tax collectors.
Monday, February 19, 2024
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The “mighty in spirit” think they can make it without God, but the poor in spirit recognize that they aren’t getting anywhere without Him. We all share the same sinful condition, but not everyone looks inwardly to see it. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll likely see a lot of rottenness when you examine your character, and a lot of sin when you reflect on your past. This should cause all of us a degree of grief and regret, but not despair; Christ promises that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor in spirit, because they are the ones who rely on His goodness above their own.
Friday, February 16, 2024
1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Love is the reason that the Lord of heaven came down to earth, and love is the mission He’s entrusted to you and I. The two greatest commandments, according to Christ, are to love God to the fullest, and to love your neighbor as yourself. If you don’t love the Lord, why would you follow His commandments? Why would you care about the people in your life, especially the ones you don’t like? Give your heart to Christ, and love because He first loved you.
Thursday, February 15, 2024
1 Peter 3:9
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
When someone wrongs you, revenge feels only natural. Why shouldn’t you give them a piece of your mind, or a taste of their own medicine? And yet, Christ never taught anyone to retaliate. On the contrary, He taught His disciples to love their enemies, pray for their abusers, and bless those who cursed them. How did you respond to the last person who cursed you? Kindness feels backwards when you have been wronged, but Jesus promised that the heavenly reward for repaying evil with good is worth enduring for.
Wednesday, February 14, 2024
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
This simple “golden rule” is the basis of kindness and love. Ideally, we should all be able to love one another genuinely and naturally. But we’re all broken, imperfect people, and treating someone as you would wish to be treated isn’t always easy. That’s exactly why love isn’t a trade or a transaction, but instead, it’s a choice to prioritize someone else over yourself. If you would wish for mercy, show it to someone who doesn’t deserve it; if you would wish for grace, be willing to give it to anyone who asks. It’s this selfless love that Christ commands us to show others, and which He put on display when He paid for the sins of the world.
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
If you are only kind to those who are kind to you, what sets you apart? If you only give expecting to get something back in return, what reward will you have in Heaven? Jesus made a lot of enemies in His day, but He mistreated none of them. Even as He was being nailed to a cross, He prayed “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Christ first loved you, even before you knew Him… when you were an enemy of God. Forgive others, as you have been forgiven, and be kind to the ungrateful and evil, as He was kind to you.
Monday, February 12, 2024
A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.
Culture would tell you that “living for yourself” is the key to a happy life, but the Bible would disagree. God has made you for far more than just self-gratification. He created you with a capacity for love, to love your neighbor as yourself and to love God with all your heart. No matter how many temporary pleasures and fleeting joys you fill yourself with, nothing will ever take the place of genuine love. Be selfless toward others, treating them the way you would wish to be treated, and pray that Christ would make His affection known to others through your kindness.
Friday, February 9, 2024
1 Peter 5:10
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
For those in Christ, suffering is temporary, but heaven is eternal. Jesus never taught that life would be easy following Him, but He did promise that eternal life was worth suffering through anything for. And your suffering isn’t meaningless; God weeps with you when you’re hurting, but for every tear He has a plan. He will use your darkest moments to strengthen you, establish your faith, and show you firsthand the kind of Father He is. You have been called to eternal glory by Christ Himself, and He is on your side. What kind of suffering could outweigh that blessing?
Thursday, February 8, 2024
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
God doesn’t want you to pray in vain, He wants you to pray with faith. When you talk to Him and tell Him about your problems, don’t pray like you’re talking to a wall. Pray like you’re talking to the Creator of heaven and earth, and not just that, but your Father and Savior too. Pray like the God of the universe actually hears you, because He does; like He can answer your prayers in ways beyond your imagination, because He can. The Lord knows your every need and desire, and it’s His desire to give them to you. Just trust that however He chooses to answer, His plan is better than yours.
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
The world is full of mistakes, tragedies, and grief, but it is not without hope. All throughout the Bible you can see God taking terrible situations and bringing abundant good out of them, so that nothing goes to waste. A lineage marred by betrayals, scandals, murders and sin was the very line that Jesus came from. The crucifixion of the perfect Son of God was the most terrible event in human history, and yet three days later, it became the best thing that ever happened to us. The Lord can work all things together for good, even the things that you wish never happened. Put your faith and your life into His hands, and watch Him grow gardens from your battlefields.
Tuesday, February 6, 2024
2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
When something isn’t as it should be, our hearts groan with grief. Worldly grief is disappointment that our circumstances aren’t right, but the “godly grief” Paul talks about is much deeper. It’s a terrible remorse for your mistakes, and a crushing realization that you are sinful and broken, beyond repair. Godly grief tells you that you are in dire need of a Savior, and this is the first step in coming to Christ. Don’t let your regrets drag you into despair and self-loathing; let them drag you to the feet of Jesus, who didn’t come to this world to condemn you, but to save you.