TNIV Scripture for Tuesday, September 9, 2008 [Matthew 5:43-48]
'You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
God's love* is powerful stuff. When you are filled with it, you have peace and joy, it spills out on everyone around you and you are blessed. God's love can turn anger into compassion, forgiveness and mercy. It can heal a broken heart and turn bitterness into joy. But God's love is not automatic. You don't wake up in the morning with a healthy dose of love to spread like seeds wherever you happen to go that day. God's love is abundant and available, but must be obtained each day and whenever it runs out throughout your day. You get it as you take the time to go to Him, who is the only source of the love 26 and exchange your inadequate human love for His love. May God teach you to fill and spill His amazing love!
* I call God's love "love 26" (because that is the Strong's number for agape) to distinguish it from human love.