Love

Taught By God To Love Each Other

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Ambition is a characteristic that people in our society value greatly.  However, society’s view of ambition is “getting ahead,” “grabbing all the gusto,” “living for number one.”  All of these ambitions center on pursuit for the self.  The Christian’s ambition, however, is to strive for the kingdom of God.  Christians do not live to be flashy; instead, they seek to be obedient servants of Jesus Christ who is Lord of the church.  Whatever we do, let us do it faithfully, as unto the Lord, and let us be a positive force in society – serving those around us rather than stepping on people to get to the top.

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  (2003)

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Our God Is Able

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Through the ministry of His Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him (Romans 12:2).  By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace.  Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us.  Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt.  Each time trouble comes, focus your attention on your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, August 5, 2017.

Restoration

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Miracles are not merely superhuman happenings, but happenings that demonstrate God’s power.  Jesus performed miracles to renew people – restoring sight, making the lame to walk, even restoring life to the dead.  Believe in Him, not because He is a superhuman, but because He is God, graciously renewing His creation.  Although God does not always choose to bring full restoration this side of heaven, God does have a special concern for the poor, the weak, the crippled, the orphaned, the blind, the lame, and the oppressed.  Our concern should be like God’s – to care for the powerless in society by bringing Christ’s message of redemption in both our words and actions.

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  (2003)

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The Power of Love-1 Corinthians 13

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In 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, we learn that love “does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (v.6).  This means believers aren’t to dwell on the harm others cause and write them off as hopeless, despicable criminals.  Love enables us to hate the evil unjustly visited upon the innocent while valuing the one who committed the act.  More simply, we hate the sin but love the sinner.

In spite of everything that seems apparent about someone who’s been driven to sinful actions, God has created him or her with the potential to be made into something good.  Outwardly, it may seem as if a difficult upbringing, poor treatment, or negative influence has corrupted a person’s morality and worldview beyond repair.  For such individuals, the capacity to love and rise above circumstances can get buried so deep that it may seem nonexistent.

God still considers the most evil and corrupt person worth saving.  How do I know this is true?  Because John 3:16-one of the very first verses we teach children-He said that whoever believes in God’s Son will have eternal life.  Many of us are guilty of thinking we deserve His love because we look good compared to those we deem unlovable.  But God doesn’t work that way.  He loves every single person, no matter how awful his or her sin may be.

God doesn’t want anyone to mistreat others; such sinful action will bring repercussions or discipline.  But the Lord does extend His care, mercy, and salvation to anybody who wants it.  He keeps no record of wrongs.  He loves without conditions.  And He wants us to love in the same way.

Commentary from In Touch Devotional magazine by Charles Stanley, May 4, 2017.

A Little Bit of Harmony

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The need for believers to care for the poor is a constant theme of Scripture, but often we do nothing about it.  We get caught up in meeting our own needs and desires, or we just don’t see enough poor people to remember their needs.  Both in your own city and across the oceans there are people who need help.  What can you do to show them tangible evidence of God’s love?

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional NT, May 23.  Tyndale House Publishers.  2003.

Stop Giving Up On People

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Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.  When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits.  But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.

God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul.  Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.