Love Your Neighbor - A 30-Day Devotional Journey

DAY 18

GOD SO LOVED THAT HE GAVE

By Gary Kendall, Director Love KC

Pray

Lord, thank you for the life-changing power of your Word. Help me to obey your Word, so that my ways may please you and lead others to you.

Read

JOHN 3:16

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

Reflect

Franklin Delano Roosevelt said years ago, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This adage is so well known some people think it is Scripture. It’s hung around so long and been quoted so often because it is so true.

I see a connection between this quote and what some people have called the most memorized Scripture of all, John 3:16. Perhaps it is because loving and giving go together like caring and sharing.

Aren’t you glad God didn’t choose to love from a distance? The giving nature of love requires that it be personal to be considered love; otherwise we would choose a different word like, benevolence, generosity or kindness. Love implies personal connection.

When we set out to demonstrate love in our neighborhoods by the way we care, let’s not be afraid to get up close and personal. Of course, we should always be discreet and appropriate. Since we represent Jesus, we want to follow his example. The Spirit will give you discernment.

Love implies there will be sacrifice. If we adopt our neighborhood to pray, care, and share, we can expect there to be times that will test our commitment to love. We are tempted to put our needs first. We are inclined to cocoon in our safe home environment. Inviting others in is a risk. We don’t want to be used or taken advantage of, and there are times when we don’t know if our attempts to love and give will be misunderstood. Our time is precious and limited. We could rationalize these thoughts and feelings and conclude we should play it safe.

But love is willing to risk. We will never lack reasons to think and live selfishly, but love gets us out of protective mode and into the serving lifestyle. It was love that compelled Jesus to come close.

As you pray, care, and share, remember the giving nature of love and don’t be afraid to love as Jesus loves.

Respond

Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any way you may be holding back in self-protection. Confess your tendency to attempt to love from a distance. Invite the Spirit to direct your steps toward those who need to know God loves them.

Closing Prayer

Lord, let your love flow through me. In the times when I don’t feel like I have much to give, please use me as a channel of your love for others. I won’t block the flow but open my life to be used by you.