You must accept my deepest apology! When I began this little journey of weekly encouragement I was still at home enjoying my lazy weeks of summer. Now, I have begun my internship in Nashville and life is much, much busier! I am so sorry that I skipped a post last week! Because I come to work extra early on Wednesday mornings, the posts will now be coming either Thursday or Friday mornings when I am at home! I am sorry for my inconsistency!
What I am most excited to encourage you with this morning is more than that beautiful truth that you are loved. In case you forgot, you have a Father in Heaven who loves you, period. Regardless of your sin, your bad choices, your disobedience, and your unfaithfulness. You are loved by an everlasting God with an everlasting love. That is something to celebrate!
Not only is their beauty in the truth that you are loved, but there is action required from that love. Now, now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing that you could ever do to earn the love of God. That’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is the overflow of joy that comes because you are loved. It is that indescribable something inside of you that makes you want to love others! Know what I’m talking about? It’s the Spirit, my friends!
You are loved to love. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” Our entire ability to love stems from the love that God has shown us. Just a few verses later he says, “And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” (vs. 21). Again, it is said in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Read that one again, would ya? “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus is saying that the way we love will make it evident to all mean that we are His followers.
The way we love is noteworthy because we are evil people. We are not naturally good. Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Christ is saying in John 13 that people we know we are different because we love. Because even though there is something in our hearts that urge us to wickedness and unrighteousness, the Spirit moves in us to instead choose love.
There are people all around you every day that are deeply hurting. I know you are hurting too, but there are people who hurt with no hope. We have hope in Christ and that gives us strength to keep going.
My challenge to you is to love those that are not easy to love: your little sister, your hovering mom, your co-workers, your classmates, or your boss.
Make it a habit to frequently ask yourself, “Can people know that I am follower of Christ by the way that I love?” If the answer is anything but “yes” make it your goal to love more unconditionally.
Lord, I want to love the way that you love. I know that you have created me to shine in a world plagued by darkness. Give me the ability to love those that get on my nerves. Give me patience, and make me more like You. Thank you for loving me despite my inconsistency. I love you. Amen.