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Take It With You 12.22.2019

Explore and Inspire

The Bible is quite literally filled with the word love.  There are verses that speak of God’s love for us, like John 3:16.  There are verses that describe what love looks like: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.” (1Cor. 13:3-8a) Truly, the entire Bible is God’s love story to His creation, how He created us, how He loves us, how He pursues us day after day.  How great is God’s love for us!

There’s another piece of this puzzle though; God expects us to do something with the love He so generously lavishes on us.  He expects us to give it away, to share it with those around us.  It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command.  In fact, it is the greatest commandment: “Jesus replied: ‘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) We honor God’s love and sacrifice for us when we lavish His love upon others.

But what does that love look like?  If we follow in Jesus’ footsteps and model our love after His, it looks like sacrifice; like meeting people where they are, instead of where they “should” be; it means meeting their physical needs as well as their spiritual ones.  It means setting aside differences enforced by our culture and prejudices and seeing people for who they are at their core: God’s beloved creation for whom He gave His only begotten Son.  This is truly our greatest witness, how we share our faith with the world.  As the old song says, “they will know we are Christians by our love.”

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Let this be our prayer during this Advent season and in the new year:

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love.  Help me to share that love with those around me.  Give me your eyes to see those around me who need an Earthly representation of your love.  Reveal to me how you would have me love those with whom I come in contact.

~ Katie Herring