Category Archives: Love

Unconditional Love

TODAY’S VERSE
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
John 15:9 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I have had Christians chide me for my passion over the unconditional love of God. What about the Holiness of God, the part of God that hates sin? Yes, I understand that God is Holy and that we are sinners and He doesn’t have to love us at all – but He does. He chooses to. He sees my sin and then He sees the sacrifice of His son. Jesus Himself said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” How much does the Holy Father love His only begotten? Can we fathom it? And Jesus makes only one request. That we understand it? That we rationalize it? That we argue over it? No, He asks us to remain in His love. Like myself, Brennan Manning taught for years about the love of God without personally understanding its depths. Manning speaks of his own awakening in his book, Abba’s Child. He writes, “I finally felt all the words I have written and spoken about stubborn, unrelenting love. That morning I understood that the words are but straw compared to the reality. I leaped from simply being the teacher of God’s love to becoming Abba’s delight.” What do you need to understand? Do you need to earn His love or do you realize you already have it? Today, make it a reality in your life. Accept the unconditional love God has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, dear Father. How long have I felt unworthy of your affection? How long have I strived to try to win Your approval? But today I quit. Today I quit trying to earn Your love. Today I surrender. I surrender to Your word and accept the love that You freely have for me. Thank you, Father, for Your unconditional love.
AMEN

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Go and Do the Same

TODAY’S VERSE
Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt deep pity. Kneeling beside him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with medicine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. – Now go and do the same.
Luke 10:33-34, 37 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we make Christianity way too complicated. Jesus illustrated the essence of following Him through this simple story. He told of a Jewish man who was robbed, beaten and left by the side of the road. You see Jesus was not impressed with the Jewish leadership of the day. He did not care for their portrayal of Holiness. Neither did He like their lack of love for those around them. He used this story to challenge their mentality. In the story, the first person to come upon the wounded person was a priest. I am sure to everyone’s shock, Jesus said that the priest walked by the wounded man, leaving him there to die. Perhaps the Priest felt the man was “unclean” and he could not help him. Next, Jesus said that a Levite walked by the hurting man. Perhaps a reason he walked by the dying man was to stay ceremonially “clean.” He could not defile himself with the bleeding man so he too passed him by. Finally, an enemy of the Jews, a Samaritan, stopped and showed compassion on the hurting and wounded Jew. The point Jesus was trying to illustrate was, “How did following God get so far from what God intended? How did we lose the very heart of God?” If we are to follow Jesus, then we must love those in need that we come in contact with. James writes it this way, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must take care for orphans and widows in their trouble.” Today, as you walk on your own path to wherever you are going, what will you do for those in need? Let us think of the “good Samaritan” and hear Jesus say, “Go and do the same!”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me remember the story of the good Samaritan so when I see someone in need today, I will go and do whatever I can to help.
AMEN

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Don’t Judge, Love Instead

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?
Matthew 7:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy to judge someone else. If I am not careful, I will become judge and jury over someone else’s behavior and not even notice that I have committed the greater sin. Jesus had a lot to say about this behavior. He says to get rid of the log in our eye first, then go after someone else’s speck! David Powlison has written, “We judge others–criticize, nit-pick, nag, attack, condemn–because we literally play God. This is heinous. The Bible says, ‘There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor?’ Who are you when you judge? None other than a God wannabe. In this, we become like the Devil himself. We act exactly like the adversary who seeks to usurp God’s throne and who acts as the accuser of the brethren.” How often have we become a “God wannabe”? Instead, today let us judge ourselves. Let us look at our own heart and behavior. Let’s repent of any judging we may be doing. When things irritate us or when we are tempted to judge someone else, let’s pray for them. Let’s ask God for discernment so we will know what we can do instead of judging. Let’s love the person. We need to see the person through the eyes of Jesus. After all, isn’t that what we would want people to do for us?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, I am so guilty of judging others. I have been forgiven so much by You and yet I confess that I so quickly forget Your mercy and show no grace to someone else. I judge with my thoughts. I judge with my mouth. I judge with my actions. Please forgive me. Help me today, not to judge, but to choose the better way, the way of love and forgiveness.
AMEN

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Love Your Neighbor, Love yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 22:39 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
The first part of this passage is about loving God with our whole heart, soul, and strength. The second part was to love others in the way we love ourselves. I understand the “love God” part. I know we are commanded to “love others”, but isn’t “loving ourselves” prideful and selfish? Some would teach so, but in truth, it is in loving ourselves the way God loves us that frees us to love others. Dr. Benner in “Sacred Companions” says it this way, “I meditate on His love, allowing my focus to be on Him and His love for me – and slowly things begin to change. My heart slowly begins to warm and soften. I begin to experience new levels of love for God. And slowly, almost imperceptibly, I begin to see others through God’s eyes of love. I begin to experience God’s love for others.” God’s love for others includes His love for you. Today, consider how much God loves you. Agree with Him and love yourself too. Today, love God, love yourself, love others.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your great love for me. Help me love myself and with that love, help me love others.
AMEN

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Wisdom

TODAY’S VERSE
If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.- But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.
James 3:13, 17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We usually think of wisdom in terms of knowledge or the ability to solve a mystery. However, James describes something much more comprehensive. It is “relational” wisdom. The wisdom that God desires includes morality, prudence, humility, gentleness, love, mercy, and good deeds. It seems that God is more interested in how we apply what we know, especially in the way that we relate to others. You can be intellectually right, yet morally wrong in the way you use your knowledge. To be right, yet arrogant, unloving and proud is not real wisdom. Might God grant us the understanding that real wisdom is, “peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I ask for your wisdom in all that I do. With that wisdom, please help me be gentle, humble, loving and merciful.
AMEN

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Deeply Loved By God

TODAY’S VERSE
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
Psalms 103:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Our belief in the love that God has for us is foundational to our Christian Faith. It has everything to do with our Christian walk. David Benner in his book “The Gift of Being Yourself” writes, “Neither knowing God nor knowing self can progress very far unless it begins with the knowledge of how deeply we are loved by God. Until we dare to believe that nothing can separate us from God’s love – nothing that we could do or fail to do, nor anything that could be done by anyone else to us – we remain in the elementary grades of the school of Christian transformation.—In order for our knowledge of God’s love to be truly transformational, it must become the basis of our identity. Our identity is who we experience ourselves to be—the I each of us carries within. An identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God.” It is this kind of assurance that changes a person. It is this “Aha” awareness that changes the course of a life. It is this realization that gives us the courage to accept ourselves in Him and let go of who we think we have to be. David knew this. You can hear the joy in his voice, the childlike exuberance, as he writes, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” This is the kind of love, grace, and forgiveness that ignites a fire deep in our soul. Might this day begin with a fresh awareness of how precious you are to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your love for me. Thank You for Your amazing forgiveness. Help me not to take this for granted but instead help me find my true identity in the fact that I am someone who is deeply loved by You.
AMEN

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Love Others

TODAY’S VERSE
So now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
I Peter 1:22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Love is the direct result of knowing Christ. He paid a terrible price that we could have our sins forgiven. And what does God ask for in return? Does he ask us to swim across the ocean? Walk across the longest desert? Climb the highest mountain? No, He asks that we love one another. Why would this be so important? Because Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” It shows that our faith is real. The power of the Holy Spirit alive in our heart is never more noticeable than when we are loving another person. Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? Is He the Lord of your life? If so, let the world know how true it is, by sincerely loving those people around you. Love them deeply with all your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your grace and mercy in my life. Help me love those people that you have put into my life. Might my sincere love help them recognize that You are alive. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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