Matthew 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (NASB)
As an officer in the fire department, you have to deal with men who try your patience at times. When I first made lieutenant, I was assigned to a fire house where one of the men came to work under the influence of alcohol. Obviously, that was an issue and I couldn’t look the other way. I had to address the situation the first time I saw it, and it caused problems. The man didn’t understand why I was “picking” on him. I explained that it was for his own good. Each time he came to work in that state, I would call the chief and send him home. On the days that he came in and wasn’t under the influence, I tried to talk to him about his drinking. Over time, he left my crew. I often prayed for him to come to peace and understanding. Years later at a Bible study, guess who showed up? Yep! One of the first things he said to me was, “Thanks for trying to help me back then. I never forgot what you said to me. I have been sober for over four years now.” Those words made me feel a sense of relief that I didn’t turn my head from the problem like so many others did. He told me that the conversations we had on good days led him to take a good look at himself and to get help. Reconciliation can take many forms in our life. They all deal hope. Where does hope need to be applied to your life?
Personal Application: Continue spending time with the Lord daily. Sow righteousness and reap the fruit of God's unfailing love.
Family Devotional: Read this chapter to your family. Ask them if anything spoke to them as you read. Talk about their answers and show them that one important aspect of this chapter is that we must continue to spend time with the Lord and keep our hearts focused on His plans and purposes. Pray for them.
TOM SEMBER has been involved in ministering to men for over 20 years. He is an ordained minister with the AG in the NY Ministry Network. Tom lives with his wife, Carolyn, and children in New York. You can connect with Tom on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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