DEVOTIONAL (June 1-15, 2018): “First of All”

by Lauren Muzyka, Executive Director, Sidewalk Advocates for Life

Verse(s):

“One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’
Jesus replied, ‘The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.'”

– Mark 12:28-31

Reflection: Loving our neighbor — sounds great on paper! But in real life, especially on the sidewalk?

We’re so tempted — based on our righteous anger about abortion — to forget to love our neighbors as ourselves…

– The woman walking into the abortion facility, confused, scared, and misled
– The boyfriend who washes his hands of his involvement in the abortion
– The abortion worker, working in the industry due to pain from past abortions
– Clergy and community who seemingly don’t care that there’s an abortion facility right down the road from them

…and so many others who cross our path in this great battle for life.

Yes, we can be righteously angry that they “condone” this great act of evil in some way, but the Lord calls us, first, to love them, knowing that they might be misled by their own pain. When we resolve to start with love, the Holy Spirit can more aptly guide us because our hearts are open to His love.

Perhaps we start with a smile and an invitation to talk. Of course, it doesn’t mean that, at some point, we may not say something to convict their hearts as the Lord directs, but it means that we start, first, with love.

Faith Challenge: Pray for all those who anger you, and ask the Lord to give you a great love for each one.