that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous Matthew 5:45 NIV
I know this is repetitive, but I want to encourage you to stay faithful to your reading commitment of the Bible. If you find that you are constantly falling behind, cut your goal in half. It will be better to gain the consistency of daily reading a little than to skip because the goal is too large. If your goal was 4 chapters…make it 2. And remember to connect your reading time to a habit that is already a daily consistent activity. If you sit and drink coffee, add the Bible reading to that activity.
Why am I stressing this so much? One aspect of a flourishing Christian is a daily intake and love for God’s word. God’s word reveals truths about Himself and provides knowledge to live holy before Him. The habit of daily reading helps you “taste and see that the Lords is good.” God’s word is spiritual bread, you can’t thrive and flourish without it.
Our verse in Matthew states that God rains on the just and the unjust and lets the sun rise for both also. I have always recognized this as a truth about God’s impartiality of His love toward all people. Understanding truths in God’s word always includes context. This is especially true of this verse.
When you look at the picture on today’s blog, who did you think the person in the sunshine represented? You or your enemy?
As Jesus was giving this speech known as the Sermon on the Mount, He gave instructions that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Then, He uses the truth about God’s impartiality as an example of the character quality that should be true of followers of Christ. He ends this line of reasoning with “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This last statement includes the quality of personal holiness, but the context is an expectation that we should be showing “crazy love” to those we consider the “hard cases” in our lives. All the time, like the sun rising daily. In abundance, like the rain falling.
Are Christians known for showing this type of love to the just and the unjust in their lives? So, here is the reminder that Jesus gives. As the sun is peeking through the clouds, think of people that you can intentionally show extravagant love towards, that are not expecting it from you because of your strained relationship. When it rains, pray for showers of blessings for that coworker that you are in competition with for recognition and promotion. When the sun sets, pray for beautiful occurances to rest upon those who are engaged with you in strife filled relationships that their life would be filled with beautiful situations.
Our enemies ( this could include a spouse or family member that you are in conflict with at the moment) are opportunities for us to reflect the nature of our Father that is within us. We get to show intentional, extravagant love to them.
May you be blessed with the increased action of putting God’s love inside you to practice by loving and praying for those in your life who are causing you stress. This is a true principled way to live, whether it rains or shines.
Blessings Love y’all