Monday, March 2, 2009

Lent 5: Transformational Friendship

Some people are easier to love than others. I’m astonished that Jesus would let Judas hang around for three years with the rest of the guys. Everyone seems to have known that Judas helped himself to the purse he was watching, that he was untrustworthy. Certainly Jesus wouldn’t have been oblivious to his flaws.

Jesus’ generosity in extending the same opportunity to someone “unworthy” in every way as he gave to “good” followers gives us hope. He understands when we’re filled with pain or rage or impatience. His patient care for those around him extends to us as well.

My prayer is that our response is more like Peter than Judas. When we mess up, let’s repent immediately. Turn from bad behavior and open our heart to the gently transforming love of God, who knows us completely, inside and out. He accepts us and offers a remedy for our failures, even while he lets us choose our actions and the consequences.
God's peace to you today!

*Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul. I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His mercy from me! Psalm 66:16-20 NKJV

*For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. Romans 14:8 NLT

*Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

*How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! and that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.

But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3 NIV

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