Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 18, 2017
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
My grandmother always had a way of encouraging me but also challenging me to become better. One such occasion was my junior year in college. I had just given what I thought was a pretty good sermon at the evening church service. She greeted me with the smile of a proud grandparent, hugged my neck leaving a smudge of beige makeup on my collar and saying with matter of fact clarity, “Son that was a good sermon, but you need to talk more about God’s love. You can’t talk too much about the Lord’s love.” Now at 57, I’m still trying to talk much more about the Lord’s love. She was so right, all these years of experiencing the Lord’s lavish love has motivated me out of gratitude and empowered me by God’s grace to grow a greater love.
Jesus was love and He modeled love. He extended compassionate love to sinners who were aware of their sin, but unaware of God–but He dished out tough love to the religious establishment who were unaware of their sin, but aware of God. Christ’s love was holistic; feeding and healing bodies while healing the brokenhearted by forgiving their sin and teaching them how to follow Him. What does it mean to be motivated by love and to live out the love of Jesus in our daily lives?
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).
We are loved by the Lord to love for the Lord. We are called by Christ to love with a love not of this world. It is a love that can only be explained by an encounter with Almighty God. His transforming power upon a humble heart positions His disciple to love on His behalf. The parting words of our Savior defined a radical love language introducing the new nomenclature of how His disciples were to love. Love others as Jesus loved with unselfish service (John 13:34-35). His command and promise faithfully lived is the best motivation for leaders to love well!
Are you known as a loving leader who experiences fruit that remains or as a driven leader who makes things happen? “The first job of leadership is to love people. Leadership without love is manipulation” (Rick Warren). Shrewd manipulation can be subtly confused with loving influence–each gets results, but the later provides the healthiest, most lasting outcomes. You are able to grow a greater love when you lay down your agenda in prayer and pick it up by faith and in love. Beware of ignoring thoughtful questions from the wise and becoming a fool by thinking you have all the answers. A greater love gives up control for the greater good of faithful friends.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
PrayerHeavenly Father, grow in my heart a greater love by first receiving and cherishing Your great love for me, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWhat desire do I need to let go of and replace with a motivation of love for others?
Related ReadingGenesis 44:33; John 14:28; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 12:31
Post/Tweet todayWe are loved by the Lord to love others with the Lord. #WisdomHunters #Agreaterlove
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