Welcome to the daily devotional we have. This is a learning process for me as I go along and I hope you can join me. I will pick a devotional on www.bible.com (feel free to go there and pick the same reading plan) and be posting the verse(s), devotional, and my own personal commentary. Feel free to leave your own commentary in the comments as I would love to read your guys thoughts. Also, I will have a video that relates to the devotional.
This devotional is titled “Authentic”. It is 7 days long. I use the ESV bible but feel free to use the version of your choosing. Cody Hahn will be assisting as well with guest commentary.
1 John 4:7-12
“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. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
When I watch TV, check the Internet, or listen to the conversations of students, it’s clear that our society (especially the teenage culture) sometimes has a very poor understanding of love. The amazing thing is there is so much information out there about this subject. There are thousands of books currently in print with the word “love” in the title. Not to mention the enormous amount of websites that use the word “love” as one of their key search words.
It is very clear how important love is to our culture – to people in general. But with all this information available, love has become a very confusing subject. With our society so confused about love, who is to say what love is? The answer is God! One of the simplest and yet most profound definitions of love is found in 1 John 4:8 “…God is love.”
Today’s Challenge: Have you ever been preparing for a school exam and realized when you started the test you had been studying the wrong chapter? If you have done this or can picture this happening it sounds pretty crazy, right? Let’s ask ourselves this question though, Where are we learning about God’s love from? Our answer to this question is best displayed when our love for God is tested. We have to be careful what we are “studying” and where our information is coming from.
Today think about two key components of influence: the things you watch and hear (TV, computer, music, etc.) and the friends you surround yourself with. Write down the top five things you watch and hear the most. Write down the five people you’re around the most. Now ask the question, Do these things and people help me on my journey of understanding God’s love?
I agree that is a tad crazy that Christians just throw the word “love” around when that isn’t what they mean. The Bible is pretty clear about what love really is. 1 Corinthians 13 pretty much sums up the exact definition of love for us. There are many example all throughout the Bible as well. I love God because He loved me first!
I have been privy to say I love something before I actually do in the past. I know am self aware of the word and its meaning/power.
God is love. When I read the devotional for today, and saw that 1 John 4 was mentioned I was excited because that is one my favorite scriptures. Then I saw that not only was it mentioned in the devotional, it is the daily scripture to read! I truly believe that if all Christians took this scripture to heart the church would be a very different place. If God is love, and we are called to be more like Him, how can we not show love to others?
Reading today’s challenge I wrote down the list of the media I consumed the most and if I am being honest very little of the stuff I listen to on my phone while at work is Christian music or praise and worship or Christian podcasts. While I do listen to all three, it is not nearly as much as I listen to other stuff.
The same is somewhat true if I list the people I spend the most time with. My wonderful wife would be number one, which is great because she is an awesome woman of God (who consequently will likely never read this particular compliment), but after her my co-workers for my main job would come second, third would be the guys at my fire department and fourth and fifth would be my church family and close friends. That’s a little better, and I think the people whose company you enjoy probably have a bigger impact than the ones who you listen to with earbuds. Still there’s room for improvement.
If Christians truly believed that God is love, they’d act differently. So would I. So should I. If being an authentic Christian means striving to be a better one, being honest means we could all be more authentic by all continuing to strive to be better Christians. The really cool part though, is that since God is love, He doesn’t condemn or disparage us for needing to be better. He simply takes joy in us when we choose to do better!