Read: Luke 15:25-32
I reconnected with someone recently after a few years. The person wasn't a close friend, but we did talk a lot, had a similar sense of humor, and went to lunch frequently. But recently, all I felt was coldness. I'm not sure if his heart was hardened toward me specifically or toward everyone, but he was quite a different person than I remember.
Here are my internal thoughts as the situation progressed:
"I can't believe he is treating me that way. I wonder what happened?"
"I can't believe he is still acting that way. I'm starting to get angry."
"That's it, I'm done with him. I gave him his chance to make it right, and he blew it."
Did you notice the change?
Often, loving the hard-hearted is more about us than it is the other person. They don't deserve the love any less, but once we've gotten our feelings hurt, or realize that we might get our feelings hurt, we cut them off from our lives. Did Jesus do that?
Along with the miracles and loving of the sinful people, Jesus also told a parable in Luke 15, in which a hard-hearted son returns, and the father embraces him with open arms.
All people, even you and I, are hard to love sometimes. Don't make it about yourself. Give people the love they deserve.
Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.
Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.
Supplication: Petition God for growth in your compassion and love toward others. Offer prayers for your loved ones and others who do not know Jesus and for those in need. Ask God to use you to tell others about Him and show His love. Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you have.