“Let love be without hypocrisy. Hate what is evil. Cleave to what is good. Be devoted to one another with brotherly love; prefer one another in honor” (MEV)
An affectionate love: Be kindly and affectionate one to another, with brotherly love, philostorgoi—it signifies not only love, but a readiness and inclination to love, the most genuine and free affection, kindness flowing out as from a spring. It properly denotes the love of parents to their children, which, as it is the most tender, so it is the most natural, of any, unforced, unconstrained; such must our love be to one another, and such it will be where there is a new nature and the law of love is written in the heart. This kind affection puts us on to express ourselves both in word and action with the greatest courtesy and obligingness that may be.—One to another. This may recommend the grace of love to us, that, as it is made our duty to love others, so it is as much their duty to love us. And what can be sweeter on this side heaven than to love and be beloved?
Prayer: Lord, help me, and my life, be without hypocrisy. Help me to love others the way you would want me to. Forgive me when I don’t. Help me to be tenderhearted at all times in this crazy world. Thank you lord for your lovingkindness and tender mercies today. We love you!
“When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life” (Proverbs 4:12-13, NIV)
Those that make God’s word their rule shall walk at liberty, and be at ease in themselves. If wise and good men be put upon sudden resolves, the certain rule of God’s word which they go by will keep them even then from stumbling upon any thing that may be pernicious. Integrity and uprightness will preserve us.
Prayer: “Lord, let my steps today not be hampered and don’t let me stumble when I run. I embrace your instruction and I guard it with my life because it is my life. I love you, dear Lord, and thank you for today’s tender mercies.”
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5, NKJV)
Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and serve people. Like Christ, we should have a servant’s attitude, serving out of love for God and for others, not out of guilt or fear. Remember, you can choose your attitude. you can approach life expecting to be serve or you can look for opportunities to serve others.
Prayer: “Lord, whatever You ask, I want to obey You. Let my life beat with a servant’s heart. Help me to put away self, walk in humility and think always of others instead of how to gratify my own desires. Thank you, Jesus, for your lovingkindness and tender mercies today.”
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NJKV)
When we trust in Christ, we make an exchange–our sin for his righteousness. Our sin was poured into Christ at His crucifixion. His righteousness is poured into us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods or services of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade his righteousness for our sin–something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless. How grateful we should be for his kindness to us.”
Prayer: Lord, let me never take for granted this wonderful gift you have given me. Your righteousness for my sin is something I can never repay. But help me to give my whole heart to you today and to show others your kindness and mercy, and how good you really are.
“For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, how much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. Furthermore, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 5:10-11, MEV).
We are reconciled by Christ humbled, we are saved by Christ exalted. The dying Jesus laid the foundation, in satisfying for sin, and slaying the enmity, and so making us salvable; thus is the partition–wall broken down, atonement made, and the attainder reversed; but it is the living Jesus that perfects the work.
“Lord, let me never take my salvation for granted nor the sacrifice you made for me to gain that salvation. Let me always thank you for your loving kindness and tender mercies. Without them, I would totally be lost. Thank you for saving me from eternal death.”
“When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path” (Psa. 142:3, MEV).
There is no cave so deep or so dark that we cannot out of it send up our prayers, and our souls in prayer, to God.
“Lord, when I am overwhelmed, please hear my cry. You know where we are in our depths of despair, and you tell us that no burden will be laid upon us that we cannot handle. For the oppressed, the hurting, the forlorn and the discouraged, be with us today and lift us up. We need you because we know you are the only person that can help us during these times of trouble. We love you, Lord. Help us out of our deep, dark cave.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; remove your foot from evil” (Prov. 4:23-27, MEV).
We must keep a watchful eye and a strict hand upon all the motions of our inward man. We must maintain a holy jealousy of ourselves, and set a strict guard, accordingly, upon all the avenues of the soul; keep our hearts from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble; keep them as our jewel, as our vineyard; keep a conscience void of offence; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds. Above all, we must keep our hearts with more care and diligence than we keep any thing else. We must keep our eyes, keep our tongues, keep our feet, but, above all, keep our hearts.
“Lord, help me to meditate on you and your word today. Help me not to worry, for if I do, I am meditating on things that only You have control over. Help me to ponder my paths today and to keep my eyes strictly on you. I love You, Lord Jesus, help to keep focused on you every minute of the day.”
“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5, NKJV).
We are to be gentle (reasonable, fair-minded and charitable) to those outside the church, not just to fellow believers. But when you can’t even be that way with fellow believers, how will those outside the church see Jesus in you? Remember, the world is watching us. Don’t be haughty in your attitudes. Be gentle. It’s a commandment we all need to heed to.
“Lord, please let people see you in me every day. I don’t want to be harsh; I don’t want to be critical. If I somehow portray that, please, Holy Spirit, convict me right away and help me to repent. Don’t let me stir up anger and strife, but also please don’t let me cause bitterness and resentment in people I deal with, especially my wife and children. Give me a meek and humble spirit.”
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35, NKJV)
To love others was not a new commandment, but to love others as much as Jesus loved others was a revolutionary idea. We are to love others based on Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Jesus, it will also keep believers strong and united in a world hostile to God. Jesus was a living example of God’s love, as we are to be living example of Jesus’ love.
Lord, show me how to love others as you have loved them–even when it seems that they are unlovable, even when they cut me off on the road or say bad things about me. Search my heart for anything that is unpleasing to you such as bitterness, envy, strife and hatred, and remove those things far from me. I want only to do Your will, and that’s to love others unconditionally. Open my heart and how me how to do that every day.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always accuse, neither will He keep his anger forever” (Psa. 103:8-9, MEV)
This scripture is convicting. If God deals with us this way, then why can’t we deal with others in the same manner? He is always forgiving toward us and slow to anger. Why is that, many times, we give into our flesh and want immediate justice? For me, guilty as charged.
Lord, forgive me for the times when I immediately became angry at someone and forgot how you consistently deal with me–with grace and tolerance for my sin. I ask that you give me a heart of grace and tolerance and allow people to repent, but NEVER condone sin and an unrepentant heart. Thank you for your mercy every day.
Encouraging Believers to Live as Spiritual Champions