Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God's people are in need be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all. Never pay evil back with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the scripture says "I will take revenge;
will pay them back" says the Lord. Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Dont let evil conquer you but conquer evil by doing good.
Have you ever known someone that you thought was beyond God's Reach? People who's life seemed so sunk that it looked hopeless. Each of us have someone that we know and love dearly that their lives just seem so bad that it can't be repaired.
Some of these people may suffer from addictions, depression, anger, anxiety or fear. Each one of these listed are very real and destroy lives and families. My purpose for this devotion is that first we Christians need to begin to focus on these people. We need to stand by them and let them know they are worth it. That we love them and God loves them too. Second I want to speak directly to the one struggling with any of these things I listed above. Many of you may wonder if your life can ever be normal again or ever will be good like it once was. The answer is yes!
We Christians are responsible for others that we know that are dealing with struggles in their lives. God places us in others paths so that we can be a blessing and an example to them. like I mentioned earlier we all know people who have problems whether it be our family members friends or coworkers. Everyone in some way face is the reality of addiction, depression, anxiety or fear.
Our job is to never turn our backs and ignore these things. God has given us the authority to put all these things in their place. We must show love and compassion to those who need us. you can't act better than them and keep your nose in the air. Christianity doesn't have a country club or an "A -List". Jesus is for everyone and we must let everyone know he loves them despite of their struggles.
You may think its pointless, you may be scared to reach out, you may think they are not worth it. But let me remind you Jesus died on the cross for ALL of us. He said we are all worth it. He never turned his back on us so we can't turn our backs on people who are crying out for us to help them.
View lost people as OPPORTUNITY not an ABOMINATION!! Ezekiel 18:23 do you think that I like to see Wicked people die? Says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways in live.
Now I speak directly to the people who are suffering! Like I said earlier YES your life can be better than ever! You must give your heart to God. He offers "New Life" to all people. Life beyond our biggest dreams! But to recieve this life you must live "In Him" and that starts by taking a step of faith and crying out to God for his mercy and strength.
When you decide to leave the past behind you may struggle with and wonder if you can overcome. You may ask yourself will I ever amount to what God wants me to be? My friend this verse gives incredible hope. You are not alone and don't have to rely on their own strength and abilities. Rather, God is at work in all of us. Molding, shaping, and guiding us as we move forward with him.
Jesus compares us to a branch living, growing and flourishing only as long as we are connected to the vine. God gives us the opportunity to experience a vibrant fruitful life but we must first be connected to him to survive. Without him you will wither and die spiritually just as a branch from a tree would perish if it was disconnected.
So when you think you may not can hold on any longer. If your slipping and think you may fall and you need strength read and remember this!!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Jeremiah 29:11 for I know the plans i have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Written by: Summer Hamilton