Week 2 – Devotional 1
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.”
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?
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.
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