I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:11)
The key word to consider this morning is that little word “so.” In Greek, it is an adverb that means “in this way.” The Apostle John would have us consider the kind of love with which God has loved us, namely, the selfless, sacrificial, costly, and redemptive love of the cross (verses 9-10).
Christmas is a time for charity in our society. Many people, whether they trust Christ or not, are kinder and more generous during this season. We may experience that seasonal sentiment, too. But, for the Christian, the love of Christ and the call of Christ to love should inspire a radically different kind of love because we know that God “so loved” us. Christian love must go far beyond seasonal sentiment.
What opportunities do you have to offer selfless, sacrificial, costly, and redemptive love to others? Is there a brother or sister in Christ with whom you need to reconcile? Is there a coarse family member you need to seek out and serve? A widow next door who could use a visit, a smile, and an encouraging word, even if it is short and socially distanced? Could your family take an uncomfortable step to serve the poor or the vulnerable on the fringes of society together? Ask God for wisdom and courage to love others in a way that reflects His great love for you.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Week’s Scripture Memory:
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.