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by Judy Webb
Picture this, the headlines for tomorrow morning’s newspaper read, “And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” Those of us who don’t understand that God is love and how that fact impacts how we as Christians are called to act in this world, could be offended. And we don’t want to offend anyone, right? But I know from personal experience that sometimes when I am called out, or my behavior or motives questioned, I recognize that something needs to change.
The reasoning behind this is that if we can’t love someone we can see and touch, we can’t possibly love God whom we cannot. Kind of makes sense, but we could argue that some people just aren’t loveable. Some folks always have a chip on their shoulder or a grudge needing recompense. Sometimes it is just plain difficult to feel affection for people we come into contact with.
How would the Bible respond to that? “We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.” (v 19-20)
To help put this into some perspective, what if you witnessed someone drowning and you could help save them. Would you? Or would you walk away and pretend you didn’t see them struggle nor hear their cries for help? I suspect you would risk your life to save them. That’s love, and Jesus defined love this way, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
When I was struggling to love the difficult people in my life, a pastor friend told me that love isn’t a feeling, it is a choice. That cleared up so much for me. I can choose love every day. Sounds like a solid plan.
Spoken Prayer – Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.