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August 19 | 1 John 2:5-10


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


The Call to Love

by Mary Alice McGinnis


I have been asking since I was a teenager, “God, what is Your will for my life? How do you want me to serve You?” I have spent a lot of my life searching for my calling.


In high school, I thought I had it all figured out. I was going to go to a Christian college and become a full-time church worker. I had a steady boyfriend, who also decided to go into ministry. I had these grand ideas of how my life would unfold, and how God would use me to spread the love of Jesus.


But as my adult life started to unfold, it also began to unravel. After only spending one year as a Christian school teacher, I left full-time church work permanently. I found myself in a difficult marriage relationship. All the things I was so sure about seemed like a vanishing dream. As the years passed, I found myself disillusioned, confused and helpless. I reasoned, “I must have misunderstood God’s calling. I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Things were not supposed to turn out this way.”


There was a song during some of the roughest years that kept me going. The lyrics said: Jesus didn’t die for you because it was fun. He hung here for LOVE because it had to be done. And in spite of the anguish, His Word was fulfilled. Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of your will.”


Since then, life has had its ups and downs. But one thing is sure. God used this difficult time in my life to teach me; to mold me and shape me, to daily lead me toward a life that is totally dependent upon Him.


Two specific lessons I feel God clearly showed me during this season of my life.

First, God’s calling on my life is to love like He did. His calling is to love those who are difficult to love. Those in my family, and even in my church.


Jesus told His disciples, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)

Roman’s 5:7-8 says, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”


The second lesson God taught me was love is never wasted. He taught me to trust that even when it seems like love is not winning, He still is folding it into His plan. His plan to use us to bring the love of God into people’s lives cannot be extinguished. God’s love is the TRUE LIGHT.


Even when others reject us, betray us, abandon us, or try to harm us, the TRUE LIGHT of God’s love can never be overcome by the darkness.


Where might God be calling you to come out of the darkness of bitterness or disillusionment? Where has the darkness crept in and started to turn your heart cold? People are not always trustworthy, but God is! He has called us to not only be strong, courageous, but also open-hearted and forgiving, just as Jesus is.


PRAYER

Jesus, I want to live as You lived. When one of Your closest friends was about to betray You, You washed his feet. You included Him in Your last supper. When another denied You, You restored him and sent him back into the work of feeding Your sheep. When some doubted, You called them to believe. When others hurled insults at You, 1 Peter 2:23 tells us that You “did not retaliate; when (You) suffered, (You) made no threats. Instead, (You) entrusted (Yourself) to Him who judges justly.”


I know how desperately I fall short of this - please forgive me. Teach me to live grounded solidly in Your love so that I can open-heartedly love those whom you call me to love. Even when it is difficult.




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Judy Webb
Judy Webb
2023年8月19日

I read your opening paragraph and then reread it. I could have written that one myself. Why do we keep searching for God's will for us? I know for me, it keeps me centered and focused and ready to embrace the next idea the Lord gives me. Thank you for these words today, Mary. You always share so personally. God uses your words to speak to my heart.

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