Take a moment to ask God to help you focus. Ask God to silence the schedule you have for this week. Ask God to silence your never-ending to-do list of today. Ask God to silence all the things that may distract you from Him.
Listening to God
We come to God recognizing that we cannot hear anything unless He reveals it to us. We are not affected by His Word unless He affects us. Ask God to speak to you through His Word. Hear the Word of God from the book of John:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
This is God’s command for your life! People will not know you are one of Christ’s disciples by how often you go to church or by how much you give to charities or the church. They will know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ by how you love those around you.
Talking to God
Have you been loving others well? Have you been loving others like Jesus has loved you? Toleration is not the same as love. Jesus calls us to love others how He loved us—unconditionally. Who are you simply tolerating and not loving? Take a few moments to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where you have fallen short in love. Take a few moments to confess your lack of love for others to our loving God.
Responding to God
We know that we are not perfect and that we need help to love one another. Our sinful desires want us to be selfish and prideful. We want to put ourselves first, but we know that’s not what God did. We respond to God in thanksgiving for the way that He has loved us. He did not put Himself first, but thought of us while we were still sinners on the cross. Take a moment to thank God for the unconditional love that He has shown you by saving you from the punishment that you deserve for your sins. “Thank you, loving God, for the amazing love that you have shown me. I can’t thank you enough or repay you for the grace and mercy you have given me.”
Surrendering to God
“Gracious Father, thank you for the love that You have shown me. You have lavished upon me mercy and grace that I do not deserve through the Son. Help me to show that same kind of love towards those whom I do not want to love. Soften my heart. Holy Spirit, move in me to love those around me. Use me to bring others to You. In the loving name of Jesus, Amen.”
By Shannon Baker
A HISTORICAL SIDEBAR
David Brainerd (1718–1747) was an American missionary who sought to reach Native Americans with the gospel. His life and ministry is known because of the book by Reformed theologian, Jonathan Edwards, titled: The Life of David Brainerd (1749). Brainerd was dying from tuberculosis and spent his remaining months in Edwards home. Yet, this was not his only form of suffering. The book recounts his perseverance to spread the gospel in the face of much suffering. This caused John Wesley to remark: “Let every preacher [and person] read carefully over the Life of David Brainerd.”