July 27

Breaking Through to Love, Part 1

I John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God….Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

I Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.

What goals do you have at the moment: a house, a better job, a career in medicine, marriage, children, retirement, getting out of debt? If you have these goals, chances are you are willing to endure the pain of studying and the denial of other things. You’re also probably willing to take on things like extra work or student loans.

If there’s a goal, there’s pain involved. Cars generally mean car payments. Houses have monthly mortgage payments. Athletic records demand focus and a good degree of physical pain. But if the goal means enough, we’re willing to sacrifice for the goal.

What’s your goal in relating to other people? Have you ever thought of that specifically, or put it into words? Here are some popular options:

• Being polite/social only
• Minimal contact, as much as is possible
• Being kind and helpful
• Not letting them hurt me (A.K.A. fear)
• Fight temptation to look at them as potential customers
• Don’t really think about it…

There is only one human relationship goal in the kingdom of God, and that is to love one another. Every other duty falls under that one central idea.

I Thessalonians 3:12a And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another…

Romans 13:8a Owe no one anything except to love one another…

Do you deliberately, intentionally love your Christian brothers and sisters, even at your own expense? Have you made it your own personal goal? If we call Him Lord, how determined are we to obey the Lord in this area?

We’ll look at other aspects of this goal in the next days. For now, can we move “loving one another” onto our list of goals?

Prayer: Father, I confess that I haven’t made loving my brothers and sisters the goal that You want it to be. Open my eyes to see Your heart in this matter, and to see what You’re doing in my life right now to work in me to express more of Your love.

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