Our scripture this week is Matthew 5:43-48.
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Once again, Jesus urges us to be more than what the world expects of us. We are called to be the children of God, and that means to live in ways that are often contrary to those of others. Our actions come from the love of God within us, not our own desires or the standards of our culture.
Jesus says these things to make us look at ourselves and see how our changed hearts and lives can become an example to others. If we are to lead people to Him, we must be as much like Him as possible. If we are to be like Him, we must know and do what He teaches.
Being like Jesus is not easy, but it is necessary if we are to work for His kingdom. Living a Christian life will often put us at odds with the ways of the world. We must persevere, sharing His love with everyone, but especially with those who may not love us.
Gracious God, we are grateful for the gift of Your Son to teach us and lead us. Help us to be more like Him that we may reach out to Your world in love. Amen.