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Wednesday, February 27, 2002

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Jeremiah 18:18-20
Psalm 31
Matthew 20:17-28

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biting the hand that feeds you

"Must good be repaid with evil?" —Jeremiah 18:20

Jeremiah sacrificed and suffered to be a prophet and turn away God's wrath (Jer 18:20) from "the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem" (Jer 18:11). Although Jeremiah saved many people's lives, they did not realize this. They hated Jeremiah and plotted to kill him. They reasoned that Jeremiah's death would not be a loss (Jer 18:18) but their gain. The good Jeremiah had done was "repaid with evil" (Jer 18:20).

We all want to be appreciated. So we are disappointed when we are not thanked. Even more so, when those who have benefited from our good acts repay us by doing evil against us, we are often crushed. At this point we feel like quitting, and we definitely will quit if we are serving the Lord for any other reason than for the Lord alone.

Are you serving the Lord only for the Lord? If not, you will burn out. Love for the Lord is the only motivation which lasts. Thank the Lord when you get nothing out of serving Him but Him. This is our opportunity to love unconditionally as He loves us. This is our opportunity to be crucified with Jesus (Gal 2:19).

Prayer:  Father, I accept Your grace to forgive those who have hurt me the most unjustly.

Promise:  "Such is the case with the Son of Man Who has come, not to be served by others, but to serve, to give His own life as a ransom for the many." —Mt 20:28

Praise:  Barbara accepted the grace to forgive her parents for divorcing.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Crucified to the World on audio AV 40-A3 or video V-40.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001