This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every week, I join a few blogging friends to bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these devotionals help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:7-8, ESV
Christianity can seem a bit complicated with the wide range of beliefs held by professed Christians, the diverse teachings and theology out there, and the sheer number of denominations. It is not unusual – though it is tremendously saddening – for different factions of Christians to argue and fight amongst themselves.
Sometimes it is one denomination against another, one ideological group against another within the same denomination, or even individuals against fellow members of their own local church!
But this behavior is not the fruit of genuine followers of Christ Jesus. We are told over and over in the Bible that we must love others. 1 John 4:7-8 is not only a powerful reminder of the importance of loving others but also a stern warning.
This is a pivotal cornerstone of what it means to be a Christian. Jesus Himself said: “This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
If we don’t love others, then we demonstrate that we do not know God.
God is love
If you know God personally and allow His Holy Spirit to work in your heart and life to transform you from a selfish sinner into a reflection of Christ’s loving and compassionate nature, then you will love others because you love God and God is love.
James 1:27 reminds us: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
It can be challenging to think about the needs of others when you are living in the trenches of a rough situation yourself, but don’t let your circumstances prevent you from sharing God’s love with those around you. After all, knowing God means loving others!
If you are listening to His leading, the Lord will bring people into your sphere of influence that you can reach for Him. It may be as simple as a non-judgmental shoulder to cry on, an earnest conversation, a delicious meal, a word of prayer, a thoughtful card or letter, or a genuine friendship. Perhaps it is an offering or donation to a worthy cause or re-gifting items we no longer need to others who would benefit from it. Maybe it is volunteering your time and skills or helping a person/family in need.
There is always something you can do to show love and compassion to another person. Let us be Christ’s hands and feet in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, at our work. “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)
Knowing God means loving others
Knowing God and what He expects of His children is so important. The Word of God is very clear: if we don’t love other people, we don’t truly know or love God.
Here is a music video my friend, Trisha of Joy of Reading, shared earlier today. The message is quite powerful.
How do you personally love others as we have been called to do? If you are a parent, how are you teaching this principle to your child(ren)?
What verse has touched your heart this week? Share in the comments below!
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
Bibles.com is a great place to find the perfect Bible for you.
From hardcovers to paperbacks, regular to study Bibles, many
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: Perfect in weakness