Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 10:25-37
Key Verse: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27
Some might wonder what thing has been hardest to surrender as I’ve chosen to walk with the Lord. Was it leaving the path of pursuing a career in the world? No! Was it leaving the lifestyle of the world and the superficial happiness of dancing, drinking, and partying? No! Maybe it was giving up my intense passion for soccer, since I’d won many awards and trophies in competitive sports? No, once again!
I can honestly say that none of these things, hard as they might seem, come even close to being a “sacrifice” to give up. The life God has given me in exchange is not simply a different life, but it is life more abundant, and I would not trade it for the world.
However, the Christian walk involves struggles that I did not expect, and these challenges test and try my character the most. These are the things that I continually struggle to surrender.
Jesus summarized our Christian duty in Luke 10:27: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
You see, the commandment to love the Lord—who never did anything bad to me but loves me, has saved me, and accepts me just as I am—is different from the commandment to love my neighbor as myself. While it can be a struggle to love people in the world, my biggest struggle is to respect and accept my fellow Christian brothers, who often have shortcomings and failures and who sometimes wound me. Yet, the ability to love as Christ loved is what sets us apart from other religions of the world. And if we follow Him, we must learn to love those around us (including our Christian brothers and sisters who fail us) with His unselfish, sacrificial love.
This kind of surrender is not easy, but I praise Him that, as I continually seek to yield my heart to Him, He keeps giving me that love and acceptance for my fellow Christians.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Lord, help me to see others as You see them. Put Your eye salve on my eyes, for I am blind and cannot discern Your handwriting in the lives of my brothers next to me. Instead of seeing the shortcomings, pride, and selfishness of others, help me to believe and see that You will finish the work that You started in them, just as You are also doing in me. Help me to be a tool of love that You can use to soften and shape my brothers’ hearts. And as we continue this 100 Days of Prayer, may true love for our brothers (who don’t always agree with us) be upmost in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Roman Ril
(Roman is co-author with his wife, Raluca, of the Ten Days of Prayer materials for 2015-16. He and his wife serve the Lord in Germany as missionaries. To read more of Roman’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)