Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 20, 2018
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
“In the 1920s, Bobby Jones dominated the golfing world, despite being an amateur. In one film about his life, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, there is a scene where a professional golfer asks Bobby when he is going to quit being an amateur and grab for the money like everyone else does. Jones answers by explaining that the word amateur comes from the Latin amo—to love. His answer was clear: He played golf because he loved the game” (Our Daily Bread, May 16, 2015). In a similar way we love others because of our heavenly Father’s great love for us.
Almighty God loves with an incredible love. His love has no boundaries or bias. The love of Jesus is limitless to the extent to which He will give us His grace. His love goes behind the enemy’s lines of deceit and rescues those lost in their loveless state of mind. Christ’s love looks for the unloved and offers comfort, care, compassion and forgiveness.
Jesus modeled loving people regardless of their “emotional baggage” or spiritual unbelief. He forgave a women caught in adultery and admonished her to sin no more. He cared for society’s outcast—a female Samaritan—by offering her the “Living Water” of Himself. He patiently taught an inquisitive, but fearful religious leader—Nicodemus—in the need to be born again by the cleansing water of heavenly grace. Jesus modeled for His disciples how they were to love one another by the way He cared for them with menial, but very meaningful tasks of service. Who do you know caught in sin, who you can love so they can learn of their freedom in Christ?
Why does the Almighty love you with such abandon? One reason is so that you can be a catalyst for Christ’s love. You have the inconceivable opportunity to love others on behalf of the Lord. While a friend or family member may writhe in physical agony or emotional pain, you are an extension of God’s eternal love on earth, because you are extremely loved by God. You have His extra love to administer to other’s loneliness and to their frantic fears.
“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:13).
Love is not received to be stored up in your soul like a savings account, rather to be paid forward to neighbors, work associates and enemies. Love is quick to forgive and slow to criticize. It looks for ways to bless those whose last blessing is long gone. Love grows a relationship into a beautiful garden of green plants, deep-rooted trees and the tantalizing smell of luscious flowers.
Love does not sit still, but searches out souls in need of its care. Take time to regularly receive the love of Jesus into your life. Commune with Christ, the lover of your soul, and you will experience His peace and security. Your rested spirit is positioned to be a robust lover for another hungry heart. Enter into God’s eternal love, so you can deploy it on earth. The Lord loves on you, so you can love on others.
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).
PrayerHeavenly Father, grow my heart of love to love others in the same manner You love me, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWho needs my love and forgiveness who may be hard to love?
Related ReadingJohn 14:23; 15:9-13; Romans 12:10; Galatians 5:13
Post/Tweet todayLove is quick to forgive and slow to criticize. #WisdomHunters #love
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