Intersection of Life and Faith

<< iPod Devotionals, with Dave Burchett

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

  • 2011 Jan 10

The tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was deeply troubling. My heart ached over the deaths of precious nine-year-old Christina Green, Federal Judge John Roll, soon to be married Gabe Zimmerman, Dorwin Stoddard, Dorthy Murray, and Phyllis Scheck.

Today I prayed for the families of those who died and for those who live and face a tough road ahead. Some songs from my "comfort music" folder came to mind. Jackie DeShannon had a big hit in 1968 with a song titled "Put a Little Love in Your Heart".

Take a good look around
And if you're lookin' down
Put a little love in your heart

I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart

And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you and me
You just wait and see

Put a little love in your heart

As a teen I really believed our generation would change the world. Forty-two years later we don't seem to have made a lot of societal progress on making the world a better place. Events like those of this weekend are depressing. The rush to assign blame disheartening. So much of what is happening in this culture seems out of my control. But there is one thing that is in my control. That is how much I love and care for others. With that an old Christian camp song came to mind.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

I am going to post an unusually long passage to wrap up today's devotional. May I ask you to prayerfully meditate on these words.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters. (I John 4, NLT)

You and I cannot control the hate of others. We can control how we love one another. That is what I am praying about today.


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