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the highest standards
“Everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.” —Matthew 5:22
Jesus has a higher standard for personal relationships than we do. No one but Christ demands such love in our relationships. Here are some of Jesus’ standards for relationships:
1) immediate removal of resentment, unforgiveness, and anger (Mt 5:25),
2) loving enemies even to laying down our lives for them (Mt 5:44; 1 Jn 3:16),
3) sharing fellowship with the poor, lame, and blind (Lk 14:13),
4) anticipating each other in showing respect (Rm 12:10),
5) building up one another instead of acting out of rivalry and jealousy (Rm 15:2),
6) unity with one another as Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One (Jn 17:21),
7) no judging of people’s motives (Mt 7:1),
8) no lustful glances, thoughts, or words (Mt 5:28; Eph 5:3-4),
9) serving each other at great personal cost (Lk 10:33-35), and
10) bearing one another’s burdens, and suffering with others (Gal 6:2; 1 Cor 12:26).
Jesus’ standards for relationships are impossible by human power. However, “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37).
Prayer: Father, beginning this Lent may I have an impossible, unconditional love for the people You’ve put in my life.
Promise: “If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all My statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” —Ez 18:21
Praise: In loving faith, Marcie sacrificed a career in the government to raise, care for, and homeschool her neurologically disabled daughter.
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