Monday, April 11, 2016

Luke 6:32-36

Luke 6:32-36
And if you should love the ones who love you, what grace it for you?  The sinners also do the same thing.  And if you should love the ones who do good to you, what grace is for you?  The sinners also do the same thing.  And if you should lend money to one from whom you hope to receive, what grace is for you?  Sinners also lend money to sinners in order that they should receive an equal exchange.  Moreover, love your enemies and do good to them and lend money while causing despair to nobody and your wages will be great and you will be sons of the Most High.  For He is kind upon the ungrateful and the evil.  Become merciful just as your Father is merciful.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus’ main point in this passage is that we need to be different.  Following Jesus makes a difference in our life.  If we look like other people in the world, behave like other people in the world, and think like other people in the world then what is the point of Jesus?  If there is nothing different between us and the rest of the world, why would anyone who doesn’t know God think about coming to know Him?  No, Jesus’ point here is that our actions should separate us from the world.  We shouldn’t just love those who love us or who do good to us; we should love all people.  When we love all people, especially our enemies, others will notice a difference.  Then we will have room to speak to a person about the influence of God upon our life.  Here we also see that Jesus’ message isn’t just about changing us; it is also about setting us up to speak truth into the lives of the people around us through our life and our actions.

Are you different from the world around you?  In what ways can others see your differences?  How does this speak to Jesus’ ability to transform lives?

Second Thought:

I want to spend a little bit of time on the middle verses in which Jesus speaks about lending money.  Notice what Jesus says.  Lending money in order to get something back is worldly.  Jesus doesn’t say that it is sinful.  There’s nothing wrong with trading money for goods or services.  We do it all the time. We call it buying something.  Yet, while it is not inherently sinful it is worldly behavior.  This is what the world is all about.  The world is about acquisition and free trade and building up your personal resources and getting yourself into a better financial position.  Again, there is nothing inherently sinful about this behavior.  But it is worldly.  It is focused on the material world and not the spiritual world.

How easily can you be focused onto the worldly by being consumed of thoughts of money and what you can get or buy?  Why is this an area about which we should be mindful?

Third Thought:

Jesus ends this section of verses with a reminder about imitation.  We are to imitate the Father.  What does the Father do after humanity brings sin into the creation that He made?  The Father sets about putting a plan into action that will bring redemption to His creation.  He could have judged us all and created some new form of life.  But He didn’t.  He was merciful upon us, bringing love and forgiveness to a people who do not deserve it.  That should be what we seek to imitate.  The battle cry, “But they don’t deserve my grace” should never be spoken by our lips because the truth is we don’t deserve the Father’s grace.  As we have been forgiven, we should imitate this and forgive.

How easy is it for you to imitate the Father in this regard?  Do you find you have the desire to be merciful to your enemies within you or do you have to struggle to allow the Father to let it exist within you?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 6:37-38
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