There is much that brings us comfort in our faith. It is encouraging to know that God is near.

But there is much about faith that is demanding too. We can't simply "sleepwalk" through life, believing that God is only caring.

In these next moments, consider what God really and truly wants you to be and wants you to do.

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"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Matthew 5:46-48

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When there’s a birthday, we invite friends to a party. When there’s a baptism, we invite church members and ministers to the celebration. When there’s a wedding, we invite family and close friends to the event.

When we honor God and celebrate God’s love and grace for us, we invite the whole world. Jesus says perfection is not about what you have or what you are able to do. Instead, he says perfection is about loving relationships.

Perfection is inviting everyone - even those we do not like - to share in God’s love. It is following Jesus’ example to invite the whole world - especially the weak, the broken, and the poor - to the Good News.

Faith demands that we have a God-sized party, and everyone is invited!

Ed Stallworth

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Lord, use me to make life a celebration for others. Use me as an instrument of your love. Amen.

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God is love, it's true.
And to follow God is to grow in love.

Watch along the path of your life today
For opportunities to yield to love.
To give in;
To place yourself at risk
For that human and most divine virtue,
The most demanding of all.

Ed Stallworth

Ed Stallworth is the youth director of Simpsonville United Methodist Church in Simpsonville, South Carolina. He is blessed with an amazing wife, Jennifer, whom he met through Passport Camps, and has a beautiful daughter named Vivian.

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