Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Loving What God Loves

Today's Bible reading:
1 John 4:7-21

Recommended reading:
Matthew 25:31-46
Luke 10:25-37; 19:1-8

We all have people in our lives who absolutely drive us nuts We might call them EGRs because, in order to be around them, Extra Grace is Required. Maybe they're socially awkward, and conversations with them seem about as invigorating as reading the tax code. Or maybe they're loudmouths who hold really strong opinions and think that everyone else wants to hear their advice. Or maybe they just have a personality that is completely opposite of yours. Whatever the case, one this is true about all of the EGRs: They matter intensely to God.
And if that doesn't induce enough guilt, John piles on more. He points out that if you say you love God yet secretly detest a fellow believer, you don't really understand what loving God means.
When it comes to loving what God loves, John points out that your response affects more than God. It's also a crucial importance to you! John states that this forcefully because refusing to love what God loves poses a huge danger to us. If we dishonor the very people for whom God sent his Son to die, we can't be in tune with God's heart at all.
So when we love what God loves, we make sure to control what we say. We think through how we will come across to people around us. We willingly reign in our responses, aiming to make them godly. In short, we attempt to respond as God would respond, to act as Jesus would.
We'll make these efforts because we want the kind of relationship with God that he wants us to have. As Christians, we're called to love what and who he loves, and that starts with one another-even our EGRs.

To Take Away:
  • Who are the people in your life you'd classify as EGRs-people you find tough to love?
  • What steps can you take to show these people that they matter to God-and to you?
  • What steps can you take to change your heart toward your EGRs?

"In Other Words"
"God is light,' 'God is love,' That which profess to e light yet lacks love, is not of God; while that which calls itself love, but is not according to light is equally not of God."
-J. Charleton Steen

-Devotions from various writers, New Men's Devotional Bible, pg: 1314

**Scripture taken from the HOLY BILE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978m 1984 by the International Bile Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.**

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