By Zach Wood
1 John 4:19
We love because he first loved us.
The last devotional I shared with you talked about God's crazy love for us through His son Jesus Christ. I still cannot help but think about how God loves us so much, yet, many choose not to love Him back. Am I saying some of us choose not to love Him? Well....possibly. Do we not all have times when we fail to show God love? Do we not have times when we completely go our own ways and refuse to show Him love and love others as well?
This passage I have shared is very short, but proves a powerful point. As Christians, we are called to love God for what He has done for us, but also are called to love others. If we fail to show love to others, we cannot love God in the way we are called to love. He desires for us to show love to Him and to others. Failing to do either of these acts of love is choosing not to love. You may think this is pretty elementary thinking, but if you take a moment to apply it to your life and your actions, do you really find yourself loving God and loving others?
Why in the world would we choose to love God, but then choose not to love other people as He has called us to do? Because people are all different and it becomes very challenging when personalities do not mesh and differences set in. You may have co-workers you cannot get a long with because of personality differences. You may not get along with your kids because you have different ideas of what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. You may not get along with your spouse because you do have hold the same values and are constantly bickering because you cannot agree. You may not work well with another volunteer at church because you have different ideas how a program should be run. There are so many different situations and scenarios in which we do not get along with others. That is just part of learning to love others and get along with them. God never gave us permission to blow someone else off just because they do not agree with how we do things.
As I write this, I am even convicted in my own life how I do not love others as I need to. At work, at church and even in my own family, I tend to show more love to some than others just because of how my personality and differences work out in the various relationships. God calls me to love because He gave His own life to show me love.
If we claim to love God, we must show love to others. If we are to be effective witnesses for the Kingdom, we have no choice but to show God's love to others. Why would we not choose to love Him in return for all that He has done and continues to do for us?
I pray that your choice would willingly be to love God and love others as He has called us to do.