Friday, July 4, 2014

31 Days of Joy: Love Others

“Don't wait for other people to be loving, caring, compassionate,
giving, grateful, forgiving, generous, or friendly. Lead the way."
― Anonymous

Love others.

One of God's greatest commandments is that we treat each other well. The Bible is full of great verses and passages about the topic of love. The human love the Bible talks about isn't just a passing emotional state. It's something based on choice. We choose to care about another person unconditionally, despite of what they may have done. Parents understand this kind of love, for they keep loving their children even when the children don't seem to love them back. It is similar to God's love for us. He loves us when we aren't at all lovable and then commands us to return the favor -- that is, love other people as He loves us, and make giving love your ultimate goal. Loving other people doesn't mean being "in love" with everyone. There are also great verses about love in relation to marriage, brotherly love or friendship, and loving your neighbor. It is natural to love your family and friends, but to love those who hate you and persecute you? Wow. This is a difficult one to understand, and it can’t be done in human strength. When we learn to love, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. Jesus commands us to love everyone, even the ones that are hard to love. We are to love all people, even those who we have not personally met. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus showed that all men and women are our neighbors, and we should love them as well, even if they were different than us. The purpose of your time on earth is not just about acquiring nice possessions, attaining status, achieving success, or even experiencing happiness. Life is all about falling in love with God and showing love to other people. You may succeed in many areas, but if you fail to love God and share unconditional love with others, you’ll have missed the reason why God created you in the first place.

Focus Scriptures:
John 13:34 
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 4:19-21
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 John 4:11
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Joy in Action Today:
Enjoy time with someone you love. Call someone and tell them how much you appreciate them or share a hug with someone who needs it.