Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) …bless the one who curses you…
Beloved, refuse to retaliate in kind. Refuse to stoop to a level that diminishes your witness. Responding in love isn’t the same thing as receiving the curse they’ve spoken, it is simply choosing a higher path – My path.
So bless all you touch, including those who curse you or seek to do you harm. Ask Me to move in their lives. Ask Me to touch them and heal their hearts. Blessing someone isn’t you submitting yourself as a doormat, it is you refusing to shift into a negative mindset simply because someone else is. Operate in love and bless without reserve.
Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) “Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that? How are you any different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that? Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfect like him.”
Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) …I say to you, love your enemy…
Beloved, choose not to respond as the world does. Resist the urge to indulge your flesh, and refuse to take offense or seek out retribution. Put others in My hands and simply operate in love. This doesn’t mean openly and continually being exposed to abuse – for that is not My heart for you – but rather, in the moments you’re faced with adversity, respond in steadfast, life-changing love.
You never know when an unexpected response of love – a kind and gentle word – will shift someone’s entire life. Be willing to pay the cost of your pride. When your identity is in Me, your fleshly ego is a price well-paid to change a heart. And though you may not see the impact your love has, I do. I see it as a most beautiful and pleasing sacrifice, most acceptable in My sight. Continue reading “Sacrifice Your Ego”
Exodus 23:2 (VOICE) Even if the majority of people are doing evil, do not follow them…
Beloved, choose rightly regardless of circumstance or influence. Know My word so well that your compass is not shaken regardless of who is wandering off the path. Be steadfast in righteousness, and pray for those who have compromised themselves – for “there but for the grace of God…”.
Stay in a place of humility, not judging those who’ve stumbled, but gently encouraging them to right by walking steadfastly in ways that please Me. Have compassion, but don’t be tempted to concede as much as one step on a path not of Me. Refuse to be swayed regardless of who has (or how many have) chosen that which displeases Me. Make My will your focus and destination, and be singleminded in that pursuit.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) Love…extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.
Beloved, resist the temptation to get so caught up in the gifts of My Spirit that you forget My primary focus: love. For I so loved the world that I sent My Son. Love wins the day. Love touches hearts in a way nothing else can. And in the end, love will remain when the gifts are no longer needed.
So focus on love. Be intentional to love. When in doubt, love. When you don’t want to, still love. When it’s undeserved, staunchly love. Whatever the situation, no matter how extreme, remain steadfastly in a stance of love. Be known for your love. Refuse to let it be shaken. Refuse to withhold it like a weapon or use it as a tool to manipulate, give it freely and without reserve – just as I have done for you. Continue reading “Love, the Primary Focus”
Matthew 7:12 (VOICE) This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.
Beloved, extend grace where you would desire to receive it. Extend forgiveness where you would hope to receive it. Extend love where you see it is needed. Refuse to withhold the blessing it is in your power to give. Generously expect the best, assume positive intent, and listen for the motivations of the heart.
Be known for your grace. Be known for your kindness. Be known as one who is fair and loving. Allow the fruit of My Spirit to pour forth from you without hindrance feeling no need to judge or criticize, but rather allowing My Spirit to be the One to convict and bring change – just as you desire to receive, give.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) …Love is a safe place of shelter…
Beloved, love is a place of safety, a shelter in the storm. I AM your strong tower, a place of refuge for you. But you, who are made in My image, can also provide a safe haven. Allow your love to create a place for a soul-weary exhale, just as Mine is for you. Provide a place free from judgment and criticism, a place filled with understanding and support.
Love can even speak hard truths without creating a need to be on guard because it does so from a place of humility, one that assumes the best and clearly sees the heart of who someone is and was created to be.
Cherish the safe places in your life, beloved. See them for the blessing they are and respond in kind. Be My heart and mirror My love. Continue reading “Mirror My Love”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) …Love… finds no delight in what is wrong…
Beloved, the world would have you believe that doing what is right is boring. It paints sin as lush and exciting – experiences meant to indulge in and enjoy. But beloved, the world doesn’t have your best interests at heart nor is it accurately accounting the truth.
One could paint touching a hot stove as exciting and an act of freedom, but without acknowledging the resulting burn and the amount of painful time spent healing (the momentary “positive” act of freedom weighed against the lengthy negative), the truth is not being reflected.
By painting sin as fun, joyous, and exciting, others are drawn into the trap. Refuse to bring others into bondage or needless pain by delighting in that which is evil.
Choose instead to walk in a manner that aligns with My word knowing it is the path of light. True joy and fulfillment are there. And any hardships along that path are for your benefit, to grow and be refined. You are a child of the day, so walk in the light and reflect the Son brightly. Continue reading “Reflect the Son Brightly”
Romans 12:2 (ESV) Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Beloved, refuse to be distracted from your call by things you are “able” to do. Just because you are capable, does not necessarily mean it is where you should spend your time.
Though you have the choice to spend your time in My “acceptable” will or even My “good” will, wouldn’t you rather focus your time and energies on My “perfect “ will? I have beautiful things planned for you, beloved. I desire for you to walk in the fullness of them.
So refuse to be derailed by a sense of obligation, emotional blackmail, manipulation, or a desire to please man. Put your relationships in My hands, and lead by example, walking in all I have called you to and shining brightly for the world to see.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) Love is not… quick to take offense…
Beloved, I AM slow to anger and rich in mercy, my grace knows no bounds; and you were crafted in My image. Refuse to allow your flesh to mandate your responses. Refuse to indulge pride or self-righteousness. Instead be steadfast in humility, grace, and compassion, allowing the fruit of My Spirit to be manifest in your walk as you submit your character to the fiery trials of testing.
Remember, beloved, My Spirit is at work in each of you. It isn’t your job to ensure someone learns a particular lesson, that role is Mine. Leave it to Me, knowing if I desire your assistance, it will never be when you’re operating in the flesh, so persist in dying to it daily that the beauty of Me in you might shine brighter day after day. Continue reading “Character Building”
Colossians 3:16 (VOICE) Let the word of the Anointed One richly inhabit your lives. With all wisdom teach, counsel, and instruct one another…
Beloved, take the time to know My word so that in the day your counsel is needed, you might advise and instruct from a foundation of wisdom rather than opinion. Let Me shape your ideals rather than the media and world around you. Refuse to be swayed by fear and popularity, instead choose what is right in My eyes.
Resist the urge to impose your views, and rather lead by example – living a life that is rich with fruit and demonstrates Who I AM. Share wisdom when it is sought, and even then give more than just counsel (which demonstrates your own wisdom) and instead explain the reasoning behind it from My word (thus helping them learn more of Me).