Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 29 January 21:
Matthew 25:40 – “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
The way we treat others reveals what we really think about God, how much we truly love God, and how grateful we are for having received grace through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, a sacrifice He gave while we were still sinners and neither deserved it nor desired it. The “least of these” are often easy to disregard because they became “the least” as a result of their own destructive behavior, behavior in which they might still be engaging. Jesus says, treat them as He treated you – “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Your love for God is revealed most clearly when you love those who don’t ‘deserve’ it.
- Psalm 145:8 — The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
- Matthew 24:12 — And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
- Luke 6:27, 32, 35 — “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you…. If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them…. 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.
- Luke 7:47 — Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
- John 13:34, 35 — A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- John 15:12, 13, 17 — “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends…. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
- 1 John 3:10, 11, 14, 16, 17 — By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death…. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?
- 1 John 4:7-12 — Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
- 1 John 4:19-21 — We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
- Ephesians 5:2 — And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
- Galatians 5:14 — For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Galatians 5:22 — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 — If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
- James 2:8 — If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
How does how you love the undeserving reveal what you really believe about Jesus? Proclaim the love of Christ to “the least of these.” Be, do, and tell the Good News of the Gospel.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 29 Jan 21: Love others, particularly the unloving, the way God loves you – “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Be, do, and tell the Good News of the Gospel.