January 9, 2022
“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...”
“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, so that you may show yourselves to be sons of your Father in Heaven. For He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?” Matthew 5:43-46
Gospel singer C.C Winans used to wake up before everyone else on her tour bus. She would be studying her Bible in the front lounge when, one-by-one, her band members awoke. As soon as they reached for the coffee pot, she would say, “The Lord woke you up today, and He didn’t have to. Now, why do you think that is?”
God has been gracious to me. For 20 years, I chose to ignore the gospel, and I chose the World’s way. Quite honestly, the World seemed more fun! Nothing about the gospel seemed more attractive than the World. I used to laugh at followers of Jesus for so blindly believing in something I felt scientists could easily explain away.
I was pretty much done with “God,” but there was that nagging feeling deep inside that kept drawing me back. I felt empty in my Worldly pursuits, and I began to wonder if the Lord was right after all. God never stopped calling out to me.
Why did God keep pursuing me, even though I continued to choose the World over Him? He sent messenger after messenger to tell me that Jesus is the Messiah. Finally, one of those messengers connected.
What I connected with was the LOVE of Messiah, even more than the music or the preaching. I met someone who lived as if they knew Jesus personally, and that person loved me enough to persistently try to introduce me to Him. LOVE made that person different from all the others I had met, who claimed to be believers. I wanted that kind of relationship with God, where I could receive and share His LOVE. So, I prayed and asked God for His forgiveness. I surrendered control of my life to Jesus, and at that moment, my life was changed for all eternity.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13
“It was while we were yet sinners that Messiah died for us.” Romans 5:8
It is incredible to me that God LOVES us so much that He would wake us up this morning, design something for us to do, and choose to challenge us to choose Him again.
Why do you think He woke you up today? Perhaps, He wants you to read His Word, so He can, again, reveal the depth of His LOVE for you (and for all who are perishing) so that you can remember the urgency of the gospel and share His LOVE with others.
Listen to an audio recording of this daily devotional here: