|1 John 4:19-21 (MSG)|
|19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
|John gives us a way to prove if we truly love God. God proved His love for us when He placed His very own Son on the cross at Calvary as a substitute for our sin. John explains how we prove back to God that we love Him in return.|
|Many people will tell you to prove that you love them by….. (doing something very special for them). Generally that’s when a friend wants you to do them a favor. However that is not love, that’s doing a favor for a friend. Often we substitute the word ‘love’ for infatuation, or lust or even being impressed with someone. Throughout the Bible God showed His love for us, and for those who know God personally and live each day in appreciation for all that He still does for us even today, we learn that His love is deeper and more sincere than anything we could describe, understand or duplicate. So what lessons have God provided for us so that we might love like He did? Although many, I want us to concentrate on the one lesson that John shares with us in the Scripture referenced above. This will be challenging for us to grasp, especially in light of the church splits we have seen, or Christian families that have parted ways with each other, or perhaps another church family. However, throughout the Word of God, we are taught to do the things that Christ taught us and was appropriately recorded in His Word. The lessons that stand out most to us, is the awesome, unconditional love that Jesus showed for us, especially when He went to the cross for all mankind, even those who scorned, mocked and hung Him on the cross. His sacrifice was for all mankind willing to surrender their lives to His lordship, yes even us , who came from awful lives of sin and self destruction. In surrendering ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ, we committed to a life that imitates the life that Jesus lived and exampled before us. So when we are at odds with a believer, or if we ever digress to a state of saying how much we hate another proclaimed Christian, are we not proving the Word of God in these verses by showing that it is impossible for us to say that we love God, if we truly feel ill will towards another believer? The Word tells us that for those who concede to such hatred, prove that we are not children of God, for we cannot love Him and hate a Brother or Sister in Christ. So when you find yourself getting upset with a believer, may I encourage you to examine your relationship with Jesus Christ? Let us learn to prove our love for Christ each day, by the way that we love, respect and treat His children!|
|Father, You loved us enough that You gave….. You gave everything so that we might one day be with You and Your Father in heaven. As Your children – Your imitators, we will not only love You in return, but we will also love those who love You. Holy Spirit, please impact our minds whenever there is concern about our love for others. Please help us to stay committed to Your Word every day, so that we might be reminded of our shortcomings and then seek You more earnestly so that we may enrich our lives with more of Your character and Your desire for Your children. May others see so much of Jesus in us that they will desire to know the source of our good works and our love for others. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
May 5, 2017