June 8, 2024


Luke 6:35-36 - But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.


In Luke 6:35-36, Jesus teaches us about the radical nature of God's kindness and challenges us to emulate it in our own lives. He tells us to love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything in return. This goes against our natural human inclinations. We tend to love those who love us back, do good to those who treat us well, and only lend to those we know will pay us back. But Jesus calls us to a higher standard - the standard of our Heavenly Father. God Himself is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. He causes the sun to rise and the rain to fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). His kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God's kindness is undeserved, unmerited, and offered freely to all, even His enemies. As children of the Most High, we are called to reflect our Father's character. We are to be merciful, just as He is merciful. This means showing kindness and doing good even to those who hate us, mistreat us, and curse us. It means giving generously without expecting anything in return. It's a tall order that goes against our flesh. But this is the way of the Kingdom - the way of love. Jesus promises that when we live this way, our reward will be great. We will be true sons and daughters of God Most High. Our acts of undeserved kindness will point others to the kindness of our Father. They will experience a taste of His goodness and mercy through us. And we will experience the joy and blessing that comes from aligning our character with His. Of course, we will fail at times. Extending kindness to enemies is not easy. But as we abide in Christ and allow His Spirit to fill and transform us, we will find the strength to love as He loves. May we be known as children of our Father by the kindness we show to all.


This passage never fails to convict me. My natural tendency is to be kind to those who are kind to me, and to withhold kindness from those who mistreat me. I justify it in my mind - they don't deserve my kindness, so why should I show it? But then I'm confronted with the example of my Heavenly Father. He shows kindness to the ungrateful and the evil. He showed kindness to me when I was still His enemy, lost in sin. His kindness is not based on the worthiness of the recipient, but on His own character. As I meditate on this truth, I'm struck by how far I fall short. I think of times when I've withheld kindness because I felt the other person didn't deserve it. Times when I've done good only to those who can pay me back in some way. Times when I've harbored bitterness and resentment instead of extending mercy. In all of this, I have failed to accurately represent my Father. But even in my conviction, there is hope. Jesus doesn't just command me to be kind to my enemies; He empowers me to do it. As I abide in Him, His life and love flow through me. His Spirit works in me, softening my heart, dismantling my pride, and giving me the desire and ability to love as He loves. It's a process, and I have a long way to go. But I'm encouraged that as I yield to Him, He is shaping me into a better reflection of Himself. I'm also encouraged by Jesus' promise that when I live this way, my reward will be great. I will be a true son of the Most High. This doesn't mean I earn God's love or acceptance through my kindness; those are already mine in Christ. But it does mean I will experience the blessing and joy that comes from living in alignment with God's ways. I will know the satisfaction of pleasing my Father and being used by Him to draw others to Himself. So I'm challenged to examine my heart. Where am I withholding kindness? Who are my "enemies" that I need to love and do good to? What does it look like for me to lend without expecting anything in return? These are not easy questions, but they are necessary if I want to grow in Christlikeness. May I be willing to humble myself and follow the example of my Savior. May I remember the great kindness that has been shown to me, and freely extend that same kindness to others. And in doing so, may I point a watching world to the incredible kindness of our God.


Heavenly Father, Your kindness overwhelms me. While I was still Your enemy, You loved me and sent Your Son to die for me. You are kind to the ungrateful and the evil, causing Your sun to rise and Your rain to fall on all. Your kindness leads us to repentance. Forgive me for the times I have withheld kindness from others. Forgive me for loving only those who love me, for doing good only to those who can repay me. I confess that this is not Your way. Transform my heart, Lord. Help me to love my enemies, to do good to those who hate me, to bless those who curse me, to pray for those who mistreat me. Teach me to lend without expecting to get anything back. Make me merciful, even as You are merciful. I cannot do this in my own strength. I need You. Fill me with Your Spirit. Abide in me and let Your love flow through me. Make me an instrument of Your kindness. May my life point others to You. May they see Your kindness reflected in me and be drawn to the riches of Your love and grace. Thank You for the promise that as I walk in Your ways, my reward will be great, and I will be called a child of the Most High. What a privilege! Help me to live in a manner worthy of this calling. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Radiant mercy flows, Kindness embraces the lost, Children of the Most High.

Radiant mercy flows, 
Kindness embraces the lost,
Children of the Most High.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.