1 John 4:10-11
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Thoughts from Dayna Spaulding
Behind the Scenes
Have you noticed how divided our world is? It seems every issue is so heavily debated. Vax, don’t vax, keep guns or ban guns, freedom of speech and cancel culture, Democrat or Republican, Calvinist or Arminian, dunk or sprinkle, the list goes on. We live in a divided world and Satan tries to bring that divisiveness into the Church. He knows a divided Church is a weak Church, a hateful Church.
God has not called us into division, but into unity. And we cannot have unity without true love. In 1 John 4, John is referring to the very words he himself heard from Jesus. He wrote about hearing these words in the Gospel of John in chapter 15. John is quoting Jesus when he says to remain in God’s love. As a branch cannot bear fruit on its own it must remain in the vine. It is the only way that we can satisfy God. We must use His strength to fulfill His commandment; use His love to love those around us. Our love is imperfect and cannot not satisfy or reciprocate God’s love. It is only when we are in tune with the Spirit of love that we can truly love.
Make it Real
Love is a muscle, it needs to be exercised and strengthened or it will atrophy. Love, like our muscles are never static. It is in a constant state of either growth or atrophy. The more we love the easier it becomes and the greater our capacity to love. The less we love the more difficult it becomes and the easier we become divided. We grow our love by staying connected to the source of love. The longer the branch remains in the vine the more it bears the image of the vine. The more a branch becomes separated from the vine the more it withers. If it has been in the vine long enough the more closely it resembles the vine.
Yet love is not always easy, we are called to love difficult people. Yes, there are difficult people in the Church. There are people with different theology and different political beliefs. And if I am honest there have been times I have been that difficult person. I am thankful that my brothers and sisters bore up with me as it says in Colossians 3:13, “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also.”
Satan tries to get our attention focused on the minors that disjoint us from one another. The issues we face today might be new, but the attempt to divide us with the issues of the day is not. I challenge you to grow in Christ and therefore grow in love, not in your own strength but in the strength of the Holy Spirit who dwells inside you. Major in love no matter what the minor is.
End in Prayer
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You made me to be loved and to love those around me. Help me to be on mission to those around me by showing them your love, a love that only you can give, a love that says yes when all others say no. A love that comforts when no words will satisfy, a love that brings peace in the chaos. Jesus, show me how to listen in love, how to correct in love and how to serve in love like you served. I ask that you would open my mind to the divides I have made between my brothers and sisters that don’t really matter. Help me to listen to the opposing side and help me to learn where I am wrong. I ask that I would be an instrument of unity. Jesus be my source of life and love that the world would see your Church and know that we are yours because of how we love.
Its in your might name I pray, amen!