Day 3: We’re Compelled to Love God’s Family – Because It Is How We Love God

Verse: “People who do not love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen.” — I John 4:20b (GW)
Theme: We love God by loving others
[Read More] thoughts on Day 3 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

Today’s devotional continues to stress the importance of valuing others, and loving in tangible, deep ways:

The essence of love is not what we think, do, or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.”

We love God when we see each other the way God sees us.”

I was particularly struck by the citation of I John 2:5a, NIV:
But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him.” I immediately thought of the tulip we had received at a church luncheon, which has since died. All that’s left is the bulb. Is the bulb a plant? In theory, yes, but in practice, no — at least, not yet. It has not yet been made complete, but is still just a seed, a thought, a hope. So is a love for God that doesn’t bear fruit in loving others.

I was similarly moved by Proverbs 3:28, TEV:
Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.” It reminded me of one my favorite songs, “The Living Years” (album ):

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

Prayer: God, may now be the day of redemption, the day of relationship. Save me from the superficial ‘idea’ of loving. May that seed die in the ground of my heart, and break forth into a plant that bears rich fruit in the lives of those around me. May I not only see others as you see them, but as you. As Jesus. In whose name I pray, Amen.