"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Laugh, learn, lean, linger … and love.
As we draw closer and closer to Jesus, our lives should demonstrate more and more of his love.
The world sees love as primarily an emotion. The Bible says love is more than just an emotion. It is also a command and therefore often requires an act of the will. Simply said, love is a choice.
The Bible says we are to love boldly. Bold love takes courage. It makes itself vulnerable. Bold love is optimistic. It hopes for and longs for the day of reconciliation. Bold love is a commitment without conditions. It has a "love no matter what" attitude. Bold love involves action.
Consider this …
The phrase "love you" is often used very lightly these days. It's almost like "have a nice day." But God's kind of love is so much deeper than that. Are you putting action to your words? When you talk to someone in need, do you always promise to pray—but never offer to do more?
If we truly want to begin loving with God's kind of love, we must demonstrate that love in action. We must be willing to get out of our comfort zone and act on our love. This might mean cleaning someone's house, or visiting someone who is sick, or doing repairs, or providing transportation, or buying groceries, or paying the rent, or maybe just listening. It might involve forgiving someone who has hurt us. "Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Lord, you've demonstrated your love for me in so many ways. By meeting my needs and giving me the desires of my heart. By listening to me. And most of all by dying on the cross for my sins. Help me to demonstrate my love for others. Help me to develop love-in-action in my life and to honor you in all that I am and all that I do. In Jesus' name …
Learn to linger!
Jesus, forgive me for allowing my "busyness" to keep me from you—and from the rest you have provided. Teach me to take a real rest. Teach me to live freely and lightly. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …
Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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