Devotional Week 1 Day 4
Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
Do you really think that every single one of the believers in the church Paul was addressing felt love for each other? Not likely. As best we can tell, it was a good church and love was evident there, but it was not perfect there. What is likely is that they were acting in love for one another even when (especially when?) they did not feel loving or the other was not acting in a lovable way. If you are a Christian, then God dwells in you through the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit dwells in you, then you have the ability to love others and the “desire” to love others on “tap.” However, you must truly and continually “tap” into that love source that is available to you. You have at your disposal not just the ability to love people, but the opportunity to grow in your desire to love people. You can actually grow in your Christlike “wanting.” Your desires can more and more match his. This is an exciting possibility…to love what I ought! This love Paul is speaking of here is part vision-casting: he sees the seeds budding and is calling the buds to become full-grown trees. Do you love everyone God has put in your sphere of influence? If the Holy Spirit indwells you, then you are at least moving that direction. Do not mistake “like” for “love.” You can love someone and be annoyed by them at the same time. But you cannot “act” with love towards someone and continually “act” like they are annoying you. How can you learn to not act and also not be annoyed by others? How can you learn to feel and express love to others? Christ in you is your hope, your opportunity, your power. This is possible, this is necessary…what will you do today to close the gap?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.