North Way Christian Community Church in Pittsburgh, PA

Week 3 – Devotional 3

READ
Scripture: Luke 23:32-43

Love is hard. It can feel impossible to love the person who cuts us off in traffic or the meter maid who gives us a parking ticket. The smallest inconvenience can trigger our anger or sadness and rob us of our ability to love. Then there are the actual hurts and wounds of being in relationship with people. But consider Jesus in today’s passage. He is being beaten and killed in front of a crowd, and he still manages to speak words of mercy and forgiveness. There is a reservoir of love within his soul that cannot be destroyed by any circumstance. If we ask him, he will help us see others the way he sees them. He knows how to love the unlovable.

REFLECT

In this passage (and the entire passion narrative of Luke 22:47-23:49), in what ways does Jesus model love for “enemies”?

Why and how was Jesus able to genuinely love the very people who were beating, mocking, and killing him?

RESPOND

As you continue to pray for your “enemies” this week, ask the Holy Spirit to transform your view of that person or people. Ask for help to love them the way Jesus does.

Download Week 3.

Week 2 – Devotional 1

READ Scripture: Matthew 5:21-26
Jesus delivers this teaching to people who have been taught to evaluate themselves with external measures. “Do not murder.” Check. “Do not commit acts of violence.” Check. But Jesus flips the script when he points his listeners—and us—to a far more difficult but important standard. It doesn’t only matter whether we have killed other human beings, but also whether we have harbored bitterness or hatred toward them. Like the ancient Jews, we usually prefer to simply monitor our behavior (because it’s easier); but as God explained to the prophet Samuel, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

REFLECT
How are you doing in the ways you treat people outwardly, with your words and actions?

How about internally—your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes toward others?

RESPOND
In this weekend’s sermon, we were challenged to forgive someone toward whom we have been holding onto bitterness or anger. Take time this week to ask the Holy Spirit to help you truly forgive and love that person.

Download Week 2 Devotional.