Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him as our guest writer.
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 1, 2015
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21
What does it mean to love God? In Christian circles, this phrase is used so frequently that we often take its meaning for granted and give little thought to its application in our daily lives.
Do we love God by giving mental assent to Christian faith and belief? Is it through our emotions or desires? Or is our love for God shown in our physical choices and actions? To each of these, the answer is “yes.”
On the one hand, we as Christ followers must be faithful to deepen our knowledge of God as revealed in Scripture. In the business of work, school, sports, and other life pursuits, it is essential that we prioritize prayer, Bible study, and worship. These are God given gifts to each of us that help deepen our knowledge of the story of salvation and of God’s great love for us. As we grow in our understanding of the great Christian beliefs – namely, the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ – we also grow in our love for God.
However, when we encounter the great love of God shown in Jesus, the Spirit awakens in us a deep and profound yearning for God’s presence. When you pursue God, do you do so out of a feeling of duty, obligation or guilt, or does it flow from a genuine desire for the nearness of God’s loving presence? We must not content ourselves with a passive faith that mentally agrees with Christianity. Instead, let us continually nurture a living, vibrant faith with the living God who loves us fiercely.
When we hear and believe the story of God’s love for us, and when our hearts are awakened with desire for him, we are learning what it means to love God. Yet, if we stop there, our love will be incomplete.
If we look at Jesus, we see true love in action. We see that he came, not simply to change people’s minds or to stir up religious affection, but to give himself fully for the life of the world (John 6:51). As those who follow Christ, we likewise must be willing to share God’s love with the world around us in thought, word, and deed.
Renewed minds and transformed hearts must always lead to obedient actions.
God desires a faithful and consistent unity between our head, our heart, and our hands. If we say we love God and desire him in our hearts, then let us prove this love to be true through lives of radical selflessness, compassion, and grace.
Prayer: Father, as you renew our minds and transform our desires, we ask that you would also give us the strength and courage to share your love through faithful and obedient action.
Related Readings: Deuteronomy 10:12-13; Luke 10:27; 1 Peter 1:22-23
Post/Tweet this today: The Spirit awakens in us a deep and profound yearning for God’s presence. #loveinaction #wisdomhunters
Two Minutes in the Bible Through Proverbs: You’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of a storehouse of wisdom in your heart. Pre-order Boyd’s newest devotional book coming August 1st! (Learn more about our friends at Harvest House Publishers)
Additional Resource: 3 minute worship video- Ellie Holcomb: Love Never Fails
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