Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 5, 2015
Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him as our guest writer.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4:9
The very heart of the Christian message is that God shows his love to us by sending Jesus into the world to give us new life through his death and resurrection. Everything we say and do is built upon this foundational truth. Yet when we read a passage like 1 John 4, it’s important to ask ourselves “how?” How do we now live this new life through him?
The beautiful message of Scripture is that God invites us to live this new life in community with others that he is drawing to himself. We see this in the opening words of Scripture, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18), we see it again in the Psalms, “God sets the lonely in families” (Ps. 68:6), and we see it in the very words of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12).
These verses remind us that faith in Jesus is personal but not private, individual but not individualistic. We learn how to love God primarily by learning how to live life together with others, and in Scripture the two primary communities we are called to are church and family.
Families have often been called “schools of love,” and I find this a helpful identity to embrace. It is in a family that we learn to love and to be loved in return. It is in a family that we encounter God’s covenantal faithfulness to his people and see that faithfulness continued through history. And it is in a family that we learn the very nature of God: that He is a gift-giving God who desires to bless the world by inviting us into the eternal community of love. In short, a family is not only the place where we learn the content of our faith, but it is also where we encounter the love of God and are invited to live out this mission of love.
In Christian circles we often talk about the need for faith to be renewed and deepened in our churches, both at a local and a national level. However, I am convinced that our churches will never be stronger or healthier than the individual families that make them up. In other words, the renewal of the church and its ability to bless the world will never move faster than the renewal of families as the primary means of discipleship, spiritual formation, and growth.
In light of this ask yourself, “Who has God placed in my life to help me learn how to love?” Most often, the answer is someone very close to you! Every relationship we have is a gift from God and an invitation to learn how to love others just as he has loved us.
Prayer: Father, help us learn what it means to love as you have loved us, and let us encounter your love afresh through our family and church communities.
Application: How can you make God’s love real to your family this week?
Related Readings: Romans 12:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Peter. 4:8
Post/Tweet this today: We learn how to love God primarily by learning how to live life together with others. #WisdomHunters #schoolsoflove
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