Respond By Loving!
Join me in meditating on today's devotional by my sweet friend D.E.A.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4:9-11 NLT
21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. 1 John 4:21 NLT
GiG, I wonder if you are noticing or experiencing what I have over the years. People are becoming less and less compassionate, less caring, and more willing to be served rather than serve others. But what’s more disheartening is this year of 2020 chaos during Thanksgiving to approaching Christmas it appears to be more intense. Our media is focusing on what divides us instead of what brings us together as well as we’re bombarded with questioning everything about Jesus Christ from the absurd to the cyanide wrapped in chocolate that could kill the faith of the uninformed.
Let’s go back to school, back to some foundational truths found in today’s passages of Scripture. Jesus is God’s only Son. While all believers are daughters and sons of God, only Jesus lives in this special unique relationship. With that said, love explains
Why God creates—because he loves, he creates people to love.
Why God cares—because he loves us, he cares for sinful people.
Why we are free to choose—God wants a loving response from us.
Why Christ died—his love for us caused him to seek a solution to the problem of sin.
Why we receive eternal life—God’s love expresses itself to us forever.
Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God’s presence. He is absolute goodness. Contrary to public opining, he cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as though it never happened. He loves us, but his love does not make him morally lax. If we trust in Christ, however, we will not have to bear the penalty for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). We will be acquitted (Romans 5:18) by his atoning sacrifice.
So, you see the dilemma. It’s easy to say we love God when that love doesn’t cost us anything more than weekly attendance at church. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us—our family members, fellow believers as well as those in our circle of influence. We cannot absolutely love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.
May we be encouraged to respond by loving one another deeply. Genuine love is serving others. And love is absolutely essential; we are nothing without it.
Called to serve and encouraging others to thrive,
DEA: Embracing a Just Be Joyful Life 2020: Laughing, Loving, and Living Life That Extends Far Beyond My Circumstances