What is there to fear since God sent his Son to die to redeem us? What is there to fear since we cannot be separated from the love God has for us in Christ Jesus? What is there to fear except ourselves, and God has poured his Spirit into our hearts to reassure us and strengthen us in our weakness! As we love God and his children, we are reminded of his love for us which is far better than our meager love for others. Rather than run from him in fear, we bow before him in thanks knowing that he who hears our prayers is also he who loves us and yearns to calm our fears.
Loving Father, thank you that I can reverence you without fearing your wrath. Thank you that I can revere your word and yet not be terrified with my inadequacies. May your love in me produce a closer likeness to your holiness, righteousness, justice and mercy than all the laws, threats, and judges combined. I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, who ransomed me from sin and poured out his love upon me. Amen.
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to have laws to keep people in line! That's the point behind Paul's message here. Treat our neighbors like we would like to be treated. Love them as we like to be loved. If we do that, then we're not going to do anything that would hurt them, much less violate a command of law!
God who gave Moses the Law on tablets of stone, please write your character and will on my heart that I might be a living stone, testifying to your righteousness and grace. Help me to think more carefully about how my neighbors feel before I act or react to them — not just today, but every day! In the name of your Son, Jesus I pray. Amen.
"It's just a little harmless gossip." The Wise Teacher reminds us that gossip is neither little or harmless. Its consequences are huge and its damage horrible. Instead, it is much better to be a peacemaker and an offense mender.
Father of Glory, I confess that I am often more a peace lover than a peacemaker. Give me the character not to repeat gossip and instead have the wisdom and strength to be an offense mender. Through the Prince of Peace I pray. Amen.
Can you imagine what an honor it is to have the Creator of the universe, the Lord God Almighty, living inside of you! And when we love each other, that is exactly what happens. When our hearts are full of love, there is room for God. When they are not full of love, we leave God little room to take up residence and produce his character in us. Let God complete his love in you. Make a commitment to do loving things for others today!
Abba Father, it is so comforting to know that you are not far away — that I live in you and you live in me. Help me see others with your eyes and respond to their needs with your heart so that your love may be complete in me. In the name of Jesus, the Servant and Savior of all, I pray. Amen.
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Separation is something we fear whether it's separation from a child, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a friend, or from God. Jesus endured separation from God by becoming a human and by going to the cross. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we can know we won't have to ever be separated from God's love. He bore the separation so we would never have to fear it!
Great Father of all peoples, thank you for loving me. Thank you for giving me the promise that nothing can separate me from your love. Make me more aware of your accompanying presence in my life. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.