devozine

Spiritual Practice

LOVING GOD AND THE WORLD

Shawna, Carrie, Michelle, Michael, Megan, Kaitlyn & Agbele

While driving down the road with a three-year-old, I switched the music to his favorite upbeat version of “Jesus Loves Me.” He smiled, but then he got upset: “We can’t sing this in the car. You can’t sing the Jesus song sitting still!” I couldn’t agree more. We all have been invited to be a part of the “Jesus song,” and it’s up to us to respond. We each join the song in different ways, but we can’t do it sitting still. How will you respond to God’s love by loving others?

—Shawna Darnall

 

love in word and deed

Loving others well means expressing our love with words and actions. We can help a friend who is struggling with schoolwork. We can take on extra chores at home. We can serve meals at a soup kitchen, donate items to a homeless shelter, or purchase school supplies for kids who need them. How can you show others that they matter to you?

—Carrie Lowrance

 

embody God’s love

While praying for the kids in my Vacation Bible School crew, I began to wonder, Why don’t I pray for the kids at the day camp where I work? At work I can’t speak openly of God’s love, but I can show love. When campers shower me with hugs, I can compliment them or ask how their day is going. I can extend to my campers God’s unconditional love. How can you show God’s love to those around you without using words?

—Michelle Ankrum, 20

 

love those who are difficult to love

Christ commands us to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34). But how do we love someone who disappoints us, lies to us, betrays us, hates us, or wishes us harm? I have begun to repeat a simple prayer as many times as it takes until I sincerely wish it to be true: “Lord, bless (name) with a good and happy life, even if we never get along.” When we choose to love, without exceptions, we begin to love as Christ loves.

—Michael Medrano

 

be present

I am the supervisor of my department at work. So how can I love my employees well? I show my love by being present with my colleagues. I listen when they need to talk; I offer to pray for them—right then and there. How can you love someone today by being present?

—Megan Ellenberger, 22

 

be willing to sacrifice

The Bible describes sacrifice as a key component of love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son . . .” (John 3:16, NRSV). “This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for others” (1 John 3:16, GNT). How will you give of yourself? What would you be willing to sacrifice to love God and the people God loves?

—Kaitlyn Baker, 20

 

DIG DEEPER

Trust the One Who Loved You First

On our own, we cannot love well. Love requires patience, humility, kindness, and most of all, dependence on God. If we ask, God will teach us the way of love. We can trust the One who loved us first to fill us with boundless love. Then with hearts overflowing with love and gratitude, we can begin to love God and others well.

—Agbele Idowu, 20

—from devozine (July/August 2019). Copyright © 2019 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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