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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, February 9, 2015
1 John 4:12 – But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.
Everyone believes that love is important, but love is usually thought of as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action, as 1 Corinthians 13:4-71 shows. God is the source of our love. He loved us enough to sacrifice his Son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything he did in life and death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love; He lives in our heart and makes us more and more like Christ. God’s love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like his. How well do you display your love for God in the choices you make and the actions you take?
John says, “God is love,” not “Love is God.” Our world, with its shallow and selfish view of love, has turned these words around and contaminated our understanding of love. The world thinks that love is what makes a person feel good and that it is all right to sacrifice moral principles and others’ rights in order to obtain such “love.” But that isn’t real love; it is the exact opposite—selfishness. And God is not that kind of “love.” Real love is like God, who is holy, just, and perfect. If we truly know God, we will love as he does.
Love explains (1) why God creates—because he loves, he creates people to love; (2) why God cares—because he loves them, he cares for sinful people; (3) why we are free to choose—God wants a loving response from us; (4) why Christ died—his love for us caused him to offer a solution to the problem of sin; and (5) why we receive eternal life—God’s love expresses itself to us forever.
Some people enjoy being with others. They make friends with strangers easily and always are surrounded by many friends. Other people are shy or reserved. They have a few friends, but they are uncomfortable talking with people they don’t know or mingling in crowds. Shy people don’t need to become extroverts in order to love others. John isn’t telling us how many people to love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to love faithfully the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees that we are ready to love others, he will bring them to us. No matter how shy we are, we don’t need to be afraid of the love commandment. God provides us the strength to do what he asks. (NLT)
1 John 4:7-12 – Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.
Love does no wrong to a neighbor. – Romans 13:10 (NRSV)
Hayes Mizell (South Carolina) story is titled “CROWDING OUT VIOLENCE.”
Here is Hayes’ story:
“My wife and I were enjoying a beautiful day at our lake home when we received a heartbreaking telephone call from our daughter. The previous evening, she said, our 17-year-old grandson had been the fatal victim of a robbery. We had recently attended his high school graduation, and he planned to enter college in the fall. He was a handsome, loving, and talented young man. Now, suddenly, he was gone.
“In shock, I looked out at the sparkling lake, beautiful trees, and green foliage around our home. To me this scene represented the peace that God intends for us. The senseless murder of our grandson was not part of God’s plan. What, I wondered, led the killers to tear a hole in the glory of God’s world? The only answer that came to me was that evil had taken root in their lives because love was not there to crowd it out.
“Many people who commit crimes against their neighbors have not experienced God’s love through their interactions with others. Much of the violence in life can be prevented if we Christians extend love to all people.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How can I use my gifts to share God’s love with children and youth in need?
Prayer: Gracious God, grant us courage to reach out with love to those who do not know you. Amen.
Prayer Focus: YOUNG PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EXPERIENCE LOVE
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
DEATH OF A CHILD: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/death-of-a-child/
JUDGING, JUDGE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/judging-judge/
HARM, HARMFUL: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/harm-harmful/
HURT, HURTING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hurt-hurting/
CRIME, CRIMINALS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/crime-criminals/
PROTECTION, PROTECTING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/protection-protecting/
CARE, CARING, CARED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/care-caring-cared/
DISTRESS, DISTRESSED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/distress-distressed/
STABILITY, STABLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/stability-stable/
GOOD, GOODNESS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/good-goodness/
SECURITY, SECURE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/security-secure/
1 Our society confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps us set aside our own natural desires so that we can love and not expect anything in return. Thus, the more we become like Christ, the more love we will show to others. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/