ODJ: extending grace

June 28, 2014 

READ: Colossians 3:1-17 

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (v.12).

When I was growing up, my family often became frustrated because I would take whatever I wanted into my possession. If anything went missing, the invariable response was to “look in Gina’s room”, for I was sure to have nabbed it. In a just vindication of their frustrations, my hairbrush now shows up in my daughter’s room, my scissors can be found in my son’s art case and my phone charger is in my husband’s possession as much as my own.

We cherish the powerful truth of the Golden Rule to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.” Its wisdom can help as we work through things done by others that irritate, frustrate or hurt us. But in our own lives, its application often chafes against our selfish desires. Let’s face it—it’s hard to think of others first. But considering the needs of others above our own isn’t a biblical suggestion; it’s a mandate demonstrated by Jesus Himself (2 Corinthians 8:9).

Luke 10:27 reveals the answer of a young man to Jesus’ question about the greatest commandment: “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Jesus then affirmed the young man’s response by saying, ‘Right!’ Jesus told him. ‘Do this and you will live!’ “ (v.28).

We can’t live out being God’s “holy people” through selfishness and getting our own way (Colossians 3:1; Philippians 2:3-4). Instead, we’re called to to give up something we want so that someone else might see Jesus in us (Colossians 3:1-2). We grow spiritually when we zealously pursue love and peace by seeking what’s best for others. Then we become the city on the hill, the light that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16). —Regina Franklin
365-day plan› Matthew 5:1-16

Read 1 Samuel 25:1-39 and consider the difference between Abigail’s and Nabal’s response to the needs of others and the outcome of their respective choices. 
During the past week, in what situation did you find it most difficult to love others above yourself? How does extending grace to others reflect the heart of God?