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“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell” (Matthew 5:21-22).

Our Lord seeks to plant in us a new heart.  It is not just about learning how to obey the law, but about having a heart that is like Christ’s.  He has told us that we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  These things only make sense if we desire a perfect heaven.  Your neighbor, no matter how bad they have been to you, is a precious one for whom Christ died.  Let Him direct you then in the way of love and not hate.

Lord, this world is filled with murderers.  I too have joined with them, hating my neighbor.  Lead me away from such damnable things so that I may practice the righteousness that You have given me.  You died not so that I could sin away, but so that, in liberty, I would walk with You in all of my ways.  I am guilty and worthy of hell, but saved by Your grace, I can do these things that You ask of me.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for equipping me to do what needs to be done to live into the life for which You have called me.  Guide me now and always to walk in Your righteousness, guard my tongue, and to love and not hate.  Turn my motivation away from the fear of hell and toward the desire of being like You.  Lead me, Jesus, in the way You know I need to go.  Amen.

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