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    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    The Gospel of Luke

    I've been going through the Gospel of Luke as my devotional time. I've been reading through and finding myself shocked at how relevant it is to my life.

    So much so, that I wished I would have started reading this close to a year ago. I found myself not really loving those who were opposing me. I found myself beating others up with my mouth instead of heaping love upon them by word and deed.

    Seeing how Jesus calls us to live is both convicting as well as eye-opening. We say we are Christians, but sometimes we forget how Radical Jesus was and we don't always live out the radical life He called us to.

    When looking at Jesus this closely and re-reading His teachings, I am blown away at the life Jesus lived and called us to live as well. This life is about so much more than ourselves...yet I know at least for myself I tend to forget that little fact.

    I live my life for myself, seeking what I want, not seeking what others want, or if I'm honest, not always what God wants either.

    Here's an example from Luke 6:30-36 that hit me:

    Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
    "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

    "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them." Was what hit me pretty hard as well as some good Biblical commentary from Darrell L. Bock. Here is some of Bock's commentary:

    "It is love for loves sake, which is why it is so commendable and distinctive" He then quotes Second Clement...this is the stuff that should make us sit up and listen. This is the quote:
    "For when they [un-saved] hear from us [the saved] that God says. 'It is no credit to you if you love them that love you, but it is a credit to you if you love your enemies and those who hate you,'when they hear this, they wonder at this extraordinary goodness; but when they see that we not only do not love those who hate us, but do not even love those who love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the name is blasphemed". (Luke 1:1-9:50 pg. 599)

    I know for a FACT that I have failed in the act of loving my brothers, I've slandered Christian brothers and sisters with my tongue. In light of this small verse that seems so self-explanatory... I have blasphemed God and His word by not only measuring up to the higher standard but falling short of the lowest standard!

    How can we love radically the world who hates us if we can't even love radically those who love us?

    God is calling me deeper and deeper into my junk and calling it out of my life.

    "Please God, I pray that I can love with a radial love that is not of my own making but only the stuff of your Spirit within me! Give me the grace and mercy I need in order to love out loud, forgive much and live a life of love for those you love!"