April 29, 2008

 

Love Covers

Melanie Chitwood

 

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers…”

1 Peter 4:8 (NAS)

         

Devotion:

I’ve been thinking lately about how easy it is to judge others or to think I have the answers for others. For example, when I see a mother frustrated by her unruly kids, I might think, "She just needs to put those kids in a long time-out.” Another time I observe a couple having trouble in their marriage and I question their commitment to God’s ways.

 

In a nutshell, I can be self-righteous, just like the Pharisees. God has been making me aware lately of some of the unspoken yardsticks by which I measure others, such as: A good mom doesn't let her kids watch too much TV and doesn’t scream at her kids, or a godly woman has a quiet time every day and doesn't fight with her husband.

 

But then there's Jesus who turns these notions upside down when He says,” the greatest of these is love." What if instead of self-righteousness, we rained down love? It would sound like this: "Being a mom can be exhausting. Do you want to come over and hang out for a while?" or “I’ve had struggles in my marriage too. Do you want to talk about it?”

 

God’s Word reminds me that “love covers.” God is challenging me to examine my spoken and unspoken judgments of others. He wants us to come alongside others and help carry their burdens, rather than add to them with our criticism. Where the Phrarisees heap coals of judgment, Jesus calls us to be vessels of His love and encouragement.

 

Love covers. I'm praying that I will be like my Father who, instead of offering the yardstick of religious rules, offers the healing touch of mercy and love.

 

Dear Lord, Thank You that Your love has covered me and continues to cover me. Let me be more like You by offering the people in my life Your love, encouragement and help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

 

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

 

What Every Wife Should Know, DVD with Lysa TerKeurst

 

Application Steps: 

In your journal write about the different ways God has covered you with love, rather than burdened you with judgment.

 

Call someone today to offer your prayers, encouragement, and practical help.

 

Reflections: 

Think about some of the key people in your life – friends, husband, children, pastor, boss, coworkers, neighbors, mother, sister-in-law, etc. Ask God to show you who you tend to judge rather than love. Ask God to change your heart to be more like His.

 

Power Verses:

1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (NIV)

Matthew 7:4, 5, “How can you think of saying to your friend,’ Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (NLT)

 

© 2008 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105

www.proverbs31.org