Big Idea: We have been given the power to Love like Jesus.
2 Timothy 1.7 (CSB): For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.
Devotional: I’ve noticed that many of you have shared your opinions on social media about recent events. There is no doubt that our nation is hurting and that many of our neighbors are, too. As we have hurt, I fear that we have become more divided.
In the last few days, I have recalled a statement I made four years ago: “If we’d love everyone with the love of Jesus, we wouldn’t have some of the problems we do.” Paul wrote that when we’re in Christ, we ought to put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity (Col. 3.14), but he also recognized that loving others is tough (Rom. 12.8).
Over the last week or so, many have not done a good job at loving others. We have hurled insults at brothers and sisters in Christ, called others racists, ignored the needs of our hurting neighbors, and so much more. We have forgotten that we are to love our neighbor like we love ourselves (Mk. 12.13) while simultaneously loving God with all that is within us (Deut. 6.5).
How, then, do we love others when we are hurting? Well, Paul told us that God has given us the power to love through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are able to love with power, just as our Lord did. Understand, loving your neighbor does not mean approving of sin and wrong doing. However, it does mean that we are able to look past the temporal circumstances and love as our Heavenly Father loves. Though our communities are hurting we are able to be ambassadors of Christ’s love and imitate God, as dearly loved children (Eph. 5.1).
-How have you been loving God and your neighbor during recent weeks?
-Think of ways that you can demonstrate love and compassion to those you encounter today.
-Pray and ask God to help you love like Jesus and be a conduit of redemption in your community.
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. —Mother Teresa