Tag Archives: Matthew 5:43-48

New Every Morning

(A beautiful shot of a sunrise at Dolly Sods Wilderness Area,
near where I graduated from high school.)

As I look out the window this morning, Father, the sun is barely tinting the sky. It brings to mind a passage from Lamentations 3:22-23. It reminds me that regardless of where we stand before You, Father, whether we are close or have distanced ourselves, “Because of [Your] great love…[Your] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”

I am so, so grateful that You love me – You love all of us. And not just those who are loveable. And not just those who love You back. You love every single person whom You have brought into existence. Your compassions for us never fail. Not because we deserve them or have earned them but because You are love. (1 John 4:8)

Matthew 5:43-48 gives us quite the challenge. Lord, we are not adherents to the law propitiated by the religious leaders of Your day but we might as well be. The whole idea of loving our neighbors (those that are loveable) and hating our enemies is an idea that we easily gravitate to. And WAY too many people flesh that out every day!

Here’s You response to that mindset, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

See those exclamation points? Your words are not just idle suggestions – You mean business! From my own vantage point I would think that if anyone would possibly have reason to hate, it is You, Lord. You literally give us everything and are we grateful? …some of us yes but a majority of Your creation, not in the least. We are so arrogant and full of ourselves that we go so far as to deny Your very existence!

But what do you do? You give Your “sunlight to both the evil and the good” and You send Your “rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

And that’s the kicker, God calls us, his “true children”, to act as He would act, “to be perfect, even as [our] Father in heaven is perfect.”

Lord Jesus, that word “perfect” is daunting, to say the least, but it is a calling to be all we were made to be. You know our limitations and You know how far we can be stretched. I would pray that I would be Your “true” child. Your love is long-suffering and You will never give up on me. “Because of Your great love…[Your]compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Amen –so be it!

Nov 27th, Mon, 6:59 am

Rain on Us All

As I look out this morning as the day is just beginning, it has started to rain. Father, the day is just beginning and it is not bright, though the sun is up. In the early light, everything is a dark green – the grass in the front yard, the cattails across the road creating a border to the soybeans and then corn behind them and then the line of trees forming the backdrop under a cloud laden sky.

And it continues to rain, beating down on the highway, pelting the bay window – nothing is missed, everything is wet. Lord, You have brought to mind this morning a passage from the Gospel of Matthew – a portion of Your Sermon on the Mount – and You spoke of rain.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (emphasis mine)

Lord, You equally bless us all –no one is missed, everyone gets wet – and You are not just speaking of rain here. You are speaking of how you feel in regards to us all. You, in all Your holiness and perfection, choose to love us in all of our sin and imperfection. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that You are “patient…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Lord, Your word is clear. As I read the passage from Matthew again I cannot miss it – no further explanation is needed– we are called to love and pray for our enemies. Help me, Lord, help me to be like You. Amen.

July 10th, Mon, 6:31 am