READ: Luke 6:17-49
THINK: Do you have any enemies? Or maybe just a few people that get on your nerves? While God wants you to strive for peace with others, there’s reason for concern if everyone in your world is agreeable and you seldom encounter opposition for your faith. If this is the case, your faith may not be showing. Jesus expects His followers to be different–in a positive way–from those who don’t know Him. This inevitably brings resistance. But it also provides an opportunity for true Christians to shine Jesus’ light into a spiritually dark world.
RESPOND: According to this passage, who does God eventually bless, comfort and satisfy? Why do God’s ways often not make sense to people? What can those who endure rejection and persecution for their faith in Jesus look forward to? (See 6:22 note.) What are some differences between people who look for satisfaction from the world and those who pursue true fulfillment in God’s kingdom? (See 6:24 and 6:26 notes.) What does it mean to love your enemies, and why does Jesus command this? (See 6:27 note.) What does this passage teach about judging others? (See 6:37 note.) What does it teach about generosity? (See 6:38 note.) What does it teach about dealing with your own faults before trying to help others with theirs (cf. vv. 41-42)? What does Jesus mean when He talks about good or bad “fruit” in a person’s life (vv. 43-45)? What does the heart have to do with this? (See 6:45 note.) Why is it vital to practice God’s Word as opposed to just reading or hearing it? (See 6:46 note.)
PRAY: Pray that God would demonstrate His power through you as you pursue His purposes and put His Word into practice. Ask Him to help you love those who oppose you and to show you how to influence them for Jesus.
ACT: In a practical way, demonstrate kindness to someone who has hurt you or given you a difficult time. If you have unfairly judged anyone, apologize first to God, then to the other person. Do something generous for someone without expecting anything in return.