Verse of the day
Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
The above verse contains one of the most profound truths about the New Life we have been called to live. But when you think about it, it seems rather puzzling that we are reminded over and over in the Epistles to “walk in love”. The text itself says that we now have the LOVE OF GOD (please take note of this) in our hearts because His Spirit dwells in us. If this is true, why do we struggle to do some of the things this love-nature requires of us, and why do we need to be reminded to love not just our enemies, but even our brethren? Shouldn’t these things come naturally? Can we say that anyone who struggles to forgive or who has a hard time holding back harsh words in the face of offence couldn’t possibly have the love of God at work in their heart?
Where is the gap?
By now you understand that the God’s Word says a lot of things about us that we have not yet come to experience (fully or at all). Looking at 1 Corinthians 13, the standard for loving people God’s way is admittedly very high. Here is the bridge we seem to be missing – practice. The fact that a thought crosses your mind doesn’t mean you probably aren’t genuinely saved. Being tempted to get even with someone isn’t the problem. Not realizing that you have received the grace and power to do the exact opposite is.
Put the love of God to work in your life. Don’t wait till you FEEL like being kind to people you would rather not associate with. Draw from His strength to extend just the same grace you have received to others.
We live in a time where we have so much access to information, it can be overwhelming and distracting. Several times a day, you can find yourself formng opinions about people, things, groups etc. The temptation to be critical of others’ choices or way of life has never been stronger. We must however learn the difference between judgement and speaking/standing for the truth. One of them is a reaction borne out of an internal disposition towards condemnation, the other is done in obedience to the instruction, “speaking the truth IN LOVE”.
How do you suppose the Lord Jesus was able to dwell among people who were fraudulent and sexually promiscuous (tax collectors and prostitutes)? Have you ever thought about that very deeply? He was surrounded by people with the messiest backgrounds you could imagine, yet He was regarded as the “friend of sinners”. We might want to excuse ourselves by saying, “Well, of course, Jesus is God”, but His Spirit lives within us and as He is, so are we in this world. We have the great opportunity to learn the heart of love every single day. The closer you get to the Father, the easier it is to relate with the people with a heart of compassion and humility. This doesn’t mean that offences will no longer hurt, but that you will be living too close to the King to acknowledge your pain over His power.Put the love of God to work in your life. Don't wait till you FEEL like being kind to people you would rather not associate with. Draw from His strength to extend just the same grace you have received to others.
Reference: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
Dear Father, I thank You for giving me your Spirit and equipping me with Your Word. I ask today that you will draw me closer to Yourself so I can see people the way You see them and relate with them accordingly.
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