Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Love & Devotion (7 of 21)

1 John 4:19 (New Living Translation) "We love each other because he loved us first."

As a kid I had the biggest crush on Stacy Lattisaw (that might be too much information for ya'll, lol!). She sang one of my favorite songs, I Found Love On A Two-Way Street. In the chorus, Stacy says that she lost it on a lonely highway. As I read 1 John 4:19, I thought of her lyrics. Love really is a two-way street, but we often lose it in the busyness and broad roads of life.

The reason that we love God and other people (especially other believers), is because God loved us first. His love for us is the driving force behind our love for him and our brothers and sisters in the faith. God's love for us is compelling. It keeps pulling us toward him, even when we're flirting with sin and the Devil. There's no substantive reason for us to neglect the love of God (Hebrews 2:3), because it's passionately pure, it purposely provides and powerfully protects us. Why wouldn't you love God back?!

For those of you that has a problem loving other people, it's time for you to check your relationship with God. Loving comes natural to the believer! Love is in us, because God is love. 1 John 4:20-21 says "If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers." Christians should never have a love problem! Now, we may have a like problem. Trust me, some people are hard to like, and that's alright. However, you must love period!

The law of spiritual reciprocity suggests that we should give God what he gives us. Don't be stubborn or stingy, love God back! Love him because he loved you first, when you were unlovable! Open your heart to God; not sections of your heart but let him in and give him room to roam. Hear this truth, God is not your last trifling lover! He's not the father you never really knew or the mom that you struggle to get along with. God is not your siblings that makes your blood boil or your so called friends who are never there when you need them. God will not break your heart! He's a gentle giant, that's soft enough to comfort you but strong enough to keep you and push you to be better than who and what you are.

O God, help us to love again. We've been hurt and are defensive. But we pray that we will know the purity of your love and be open to share the love that you've given us. Help us to move on from the pain of our past, with an understanding that our present has possibilities and move forward into the future with you, at full steam ahead! In Jesus' name, Amen.

***Tomorrow's verse...Acts 2:42 'Loyally in Love'

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