Daily Devotional: Psalms 136:16-26
16 to him who led his people through the desert, His love endures forever. 17 who struck down great kings, His love endures forever. 18 and killed mighty kings--His love endures forever. 19 Sihon king of the Amorites His love endures forever. 20 and Og king of Bashan--His love endures forever. 21 and gave their land as an inheritance, His love endures forever. 22 an inheritance to his servant Israel; His love endures forever. 23 to the one who remembered us in our low estate His love endures forever. 24 and freed us from our enemies, His love endures forever. 25 and who gives food to every creature. His love endures forever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.
1 John 4:7-10
8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Several years ago (well, maybe many years ago) there was a popular song that began with the lyrics “O what is love?”. The rest of the song described love as being many different things. But the real answer to this question is that “God is love.” All we can ever know about true love is learned by knowing God and his love for each of us. While love may seem at times to be a soft gentle rose or at other times a thorn beneath the rose, real love is seeking what is best for another while giving ourselves, our best and what is most dear to us.
This is the love of God that we are to have for him and for others around us. It does not depend on the one being loved or their behavior. It is not necessarily deserved but is given anyway. God loves us when we are unlovable. He loves us and gave his Son while we were his enemies. This love is the beginning of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and necessary if we are to grow into his likeness. Jesus said this love was to be the identifying badge of his disciples. Love is the basis for our being able to forgive others, even when we feel they don’t deserve it.
Heavenly Father I am so thankful that you love me with a love that is a part of your very nature. Keep me from abusing your love with my stubbornness and my sinfulness. Help me open my heart to the bidding of your Spirit so I can love others as you love me. Give me a pure heart that always seeks to do your will and to be molded into your likeness. Forgive me when I fail. In my love, help me be kind, patient, merciful, compassionate and forgiving. Give me greater self-control so I will do what I need to do for you and leave off things that take me away from you. Give your peace to those who are suffering. I pray in the name of Jesus.