Verse of the Day


"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end."

~I Corinthians 13: 4-7


Today's Devotional Thought

July 23, 2010 by Rachel Piferi



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Love God. Love People.

How do you love? Do you love fully? Or do you love cautiously, selectively, or conditionally? Do you want to love more fully?

When we look at why we are on this Earth, it can all be simplified to one word. Love. We are here to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul and to love people.

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is asked by his disciples about this. They ask Him to tell them what the greatest commandment is. And Jesus replies that it is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-39).

Jesus said it best: Love God. Then love people.

If we study love further, we see that Paul gives us instructions of what love should look like. I love the way that Eugene Peterson writes about love in The Message version of the Bible. He writes that love never gives up and that loving someone means caring for the other more than the self. Loving means not strutting around or wanting what someone else has. Loving means looking for the best in others and forgiving their shortcomings. It’s not looking backwards, but rather trusting God as you keep pressing towards the end.

Do you love like this? As you read this description of how we are called to love, do you look at it and think that there is no way that you will ever be able to love like this? Do you think that you will never be able to put someone else’s needs above your own? Or that you can’t possibly love someone who has hurt you or has shortcomings that disappoint you? Do you wonder how you can possibly love another person this fully?

If you wonder how you can ever love others like this, my answer is in the first part of Jesus’ instructions. We are called to love God and then love people. You see, when you love God, then you strive to live in a way that pleases Him. You strive to emulate Him and live according to His principles. And when you love God, then you are able to love people like He loves them.

It is very powerful to be loved by someone in the same way that God loves us. If you have ever been loved unconditionally by someone who puts your needs above theirs, then you know how amazing that feels. But friends, I would argue that it is even more powerful to love like that than to be loved like that. When you can extend a pure, God-like love to another individual, then it can be so overwhelming and powerful. To actually care for another human being more than you care for yourself is how God calls us to love. And that is a love that you can express simply because God loves you that way and because you love God.

Do you want to love others fully and be loved by others fully? If you do, then love God first. Strive to know Him and love Him and serve Him. And you will find that by loving and serving God, you will be able to demonstrate His love to others. You will be able to demonstrate the type of love that Paul describes in I Corinthians.

Love God today. And then love others more fully.


Memorize this verse today:

"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end."
~I Corinthians 13: 4-7



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