This Week’s Devotional Thought

12 Then Jonathan said to David…, “If my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father… 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” 17 And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself. (1 Samuel 20: selected verses)

I think it is safe to say that David and Saul were not in a good and stable relationship. Saul hated David because he was going to be king instead of his son Jonathan.

What is interesting and especially noteworthy is that Jonathan didn’t have a problem with David being king. Jonathan didn’t hate David for being the next in line, but instead, loved David as himself because this was what God wanted.

God wants us to love all people and that includes our enemies. Jesus told his disciples, and that includes us, that we show ourselves to belong to him by showing love just like he showed us.

As easy as it would have been for Jonathan to hate and not help David, he did it anyway. Do we love without limit, like Jonathan?

It is easy to love those who are closest to us like family, friends, or those who treat us well. But when it comes to those that might mistreat us or others around us, are we as willing to continue to love just like God loved us?

Who in your life is it easier for you to hate than to love? Is it that person who betrayed you and gave you a bad name? Maybe it is someone who is splitting your family apart? How about those people who mistreat the vulnerable? Is it that person who promotes godless views and puts down God’s? Maybe it is the ones who persecute you for what you believe?  Maybe it is the people who have committed some horrible acts?

God commands us to show our love to him by loving one another which includes all people. Jonathan showed his love for God by loving David against his father Saul’s wishes. Saul showed his separation from God by his hatred for David against God’s wishes.

Jesus showed us what true love is all about when he showed us how he loved the world when it was easier to hate us. He chose to love us sinners who are full of evil and hate and give us his grace by giving us eternal life in heaven.

Jesus sacrificed himself to forgive our hate so that we could truly know what it means to be loved. We know what undeserved love is like because we experience it every day from our God. We don’t have to run for our lives from his wrath for the mistakes that we have made. We know that our God will continue to love us because his love is faithful and true and will never end.

When we wrap ourselves up in God’s undeserved love for us we will have no problem loving all people even those who mistreat us.

If someone should seek to damage our possessions or good name, they simply are showing their need for love. A love stronger than a parent’s, a spouse’s, or of any family member and friend, a love that will leave us content enough to love everyone: a love only our God can give, a love without limit.

Happy to know that Jesus loves me, just like he does you!

Pastor Hanneman