Day 16: Love One Another

Have you ever had a day where everything you see and read points towards one thing? I’ve experienced this plenty of times to know that it’s normally not a coincidence and it certainly is God trying to get my attention.  Today has been one of those days for me.

From my first scroll on Facebook and Instagram this morning to my Bible reading during my quiet time.  One theme kept coming up.

Love one another.

I opened my Bible to 1 John and read the Introduction by Louie Giglio.

“A restored relationship with God produces a right relationship with others.  The two can not be separated.”

As I continued to read I felt God telling me that this was not a coincidence and it was a message from Him to me.

I continued to read 1 John and throughout the entire book, I saw a continuous message.  We will be known as children of God by the way we love God and love one another.  1 John 3:18 says,

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

In other words, we can’t just say we love one another, we must show it through our actions.  And you know, loving people is easy when things are easy, but loving those who have hurt us, that’s hard.  It’s a constant rollercoaster.  Even though we’ve forgiven someone, loving them can almost seem impossible. But then if you continue reading in 1 John 4:7-8 its says,

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

We may feel like we can’t love those who have hurt us, but God tells us that we can love them.  We can love them because love comes from Him.  1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers a multitude of sins, but what does that mean exactly?

The kind of love that Peter is talking about is a reflection of the way God loves us.  He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us to cover our sin.  His love covered our sin and continues to cover our sins today.  That is how He commands us to love.

We will be known as children of God by the way we love others and love God.  That’s pretty powerful to me and makes me realize that I have to do better.  I can be quick to hold a grudge and allow bitterness to build up in my heart, but God is showing me that I need to love.  And when I feel like I can’t, I need to ask Him to help me love because love comes from Him.

I don’t know if you are struggling to love someone today, but if you are I encourage you to ask God to soften your heart towards them.  If you haven’t forgiven them, I encourage you to do that first.

Begin by praying and asking God to help you release all of the hurt that you feel and ask God to help you forgive them.  Forgiving them doesn’t mean that your feelings aren’t valid, but it releases you and allows you to walk in freedom.  Then begin to pray for them.  Pray for them every single day.  Pray for God’s blessing over their lives and their families lives.  When we pray for someone it is impossible to hate them.

And if you need to reach out to them because you are the one who’s offended them, reach out to them in love.  Ask for forgiveness.

I’ve learned that some relationships are not meant to be restored.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Look at that season with gratitude for what you learned and all of the wonderful memories you lived.  Trust that God is placing people in your life at the right times in your life.

Don’t let bitterness, hate and unforgiveness rule your heart.  Forgive, let it go and love.

Today reminded me how important it is to ask God to search our hearts and to point out anything that we need to confess.  Are you dealing with sin in your life?  Is there anything that you need to confess to God?  Ask God to search your heart, to point it out and when He does….confess it and move on.

As we continue this prayer journey it is so important to truly seek God and ask Him to identify sin in our life that needs to be brought to light because when there’s unconfessed sin in our heart, it can hinder our prayers.  That’s why it’s so important to confess our sins to Him.  And rest in the promise of  1 John 1:9 that says,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

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