The primary scripture for this week's Message was 1 John 3:11 (NIV) "This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another." and our new recommended daily prayer this week is:
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day You will fill me with Yourself and cause Your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Day 1: Read Galatians 3:27-28. How does God cut across cultural and human distinctions in the family of faith? What do we all have in common, no matter our background?
Day 2: Read 1 John 3:16. Love is sacrifice. Your life has great value because Jesus sacrificed His life that you might be part of His family. In addition, you have never locked eyes with someone God does not love. When are you tempted to look down at, or see yourself better than, others? How can you remind yourself today when such thoughts come, to treat others as equals?
Day 3: Read 1 John 3:17. Frederick Buechner defined compassion this way: “Compassion is the sometimes-fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” In the last week, how has someone shown you compassion? Whom have you shown compassion?
Day 4: Read 1 John 3:14. A significant fact in the church’s growth in the world in the first century was the love lived out by the early Christian communities: Jews and Gentiles living together in authentic community. That kind of love got the world’s attention. In what ways might love lived out in the church today get the world’s attention? In what ways might love lived out in your life today get your world’s attention?
Day 5: Read 1 John 3:11. Love has no fear of taking the first step. Love is not a feeling, it’s an action - not a reaction, it’s a pro-action. When have you been the recipient of someone taking the first step to express love in the past week? How have you taken the first step in loving others this week?
Day 6: Read 1 John 3:18. The power to love God, others, and myself flows out of my relationship with God. John says that means putting love into action with truth. Pray for where God is leading you to take the first step in loving others.
You can GO DEEPER this week by reading the following books: Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul Miller and Book: Love Beyond Reason: Moving God’s Love from Your Head to Your Heart by John Ortberg.
Also another good quote this week is "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." - Samuel Johnson. And the following songs were referenced in this weeks message:
- "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Foreigner
- "Greatest Love Of All" by Whitney Houston
- "The Loving Cup" by Dan Fogelberg
- "My Cup Runneth Over" by Ed Ames