Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)

27″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.  31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Matthew 5:40-41 (NRSV)

If anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.

DEVOTION – Noris Jacqueline Caceres (Dominican Republic)

I spent two years buying furnishings for the home that would give me independence from my parents. God blessed me with a house for my husband, my child, and me. We had been living there for only three weeks when my husband asked for a divorce. We hired an attorney to help us divide our few belongings, which included a car I used as a part of my work. I saw my meager financial resources slipping through my fingers and my one major asset taken from me. I felt as if I were drowning.

I had to return to my parents’ house. I was desperate when I arrived there. In agony, I picked up the Bible and randomly leafed through the pages. I read Matthew 5:41. Then, feeling that this was what God wanted me to do in the situation with my husband, I cried until I was exhausted.

The following day, instead of complaining about losing my possessions, I told my ex-husband, “Take everything. It is my gift to you.” Detaching myself from my possessions liberated me from suffering and injustice. I felt at peace. A month after that episode, my ex-husband abandoned his desire for vengeance and returned everything I had given him.

I shall never forget what God did for me. Many years have passed, but I still live by this practice of detaching myself from possessions. It continues to set me free.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When God speaks, listen.

PRAYER: Merciful God, remain by our side, speaking to us and comforting us. Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Couples Facing Divorce