1.Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2. Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.
Praise and Thanksgiving
1.Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2. Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people 3. Open your heart to praise the Lord I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Confession and repentance
1. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you: “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
2.Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray: "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,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.If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":
The last two days we have talked about your new lifestyle of Christlikeness (being like Jesus). It is to keep your eyes and hands from sinning so that you can keep your marriage vow and that divorce would never happen. Is it difficult? It is, but it is also possible.
Today we will talk about your new lifestyle of Christlikeness, which pushes you to love your enemies. Is it difficult? It is ,and it is not really possible. How can you let people treat you according to what Jesus says in this passage? How can you love your enemies? It is mission impossible.
Bishop N.T. Wright gives us a clue as to why Jesus says we need to acquire this new lifestyle:
The shocking thing about this passage is that we are told to watch what our heavenly father is doing and then do the same ourselves.
N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster, John Knox Press, 2004, p.50.
It is impossible for us to love our enemies. But, if we can be closer to Jesus each day and watch His example, we can be an example to others in loving our enemies.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be closer and closer to you each day so that we can be an example in loving our enemies. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Reflect on these questions:
1. How have you responded to the "enemies" who have treated you in the ways that Jesus describes? What happened in those situations, and how were you hurt? 2. Do you think you can do those things Jesus says in this passage to love your enemies? Why not (or why YES)?
3. Do you have anyone you can watch and learn from so that you can start to live out what Jesus says to love your enemies?