23/8/11 Jeremiah 31-32; 1 John 4
S: 1 John 4:9-11, 20-21 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. ... 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.
O: This echoes Jesus' commandment, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) and “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13)
We love because He first loved us. He showed us His love first, while we were still His enemies. In response, we love Him back, and love each other.
A: It's easy to love loveable people, but some people, it's really hard to love. We all know people whom it's hard to love. Yet God loved us while we were still sinners and His enemies. As children of God, we have to learn to love like our Father loves.
P: Father, it is so hard to love everyone. None of us do it perfectly like You do, but Father, as we walk with you day by day, take us baby step by baby step closer and closer to Your ideal. Even as I read the atrocities committed by the people in power, I still have to remember that You takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather, You want them to repent (Ezekiel 18:23). I pray for the repentance of these evil people in power now, and I pray for Your Spirit to enable me to love them even as You love them, as well as other people that I find hard to love. In Jesus' name, amen.