Tag Archives: 1 John 4:8

New Every Morning

(A beautiful shot of a sunrise at Dolly Sods Wilderness Area,
near where I graduated from high school.)

As I look out the window this morning, Father, the sun is barely tinting the sky. It brings to mind a passage from Lamentations 3:22-23. It reminds me that regardless of where we stand before You, Father, whether we are close or have distanced ourselves, “Because of [Your] great love…[Your] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”

I am so, so grateful that You love me – You love all of us. And not just those who are loveable. And not just those who love You back. You love every single person whom You have brought into existence. Your compassions for us never fail. Not because we deserve them or have earned them but because You are love. (1 John 4:8)

Matthew 5:43-48 gives us quite the challenge. Lord, we are not adherents to the law propitiated by the religious leaders of Your day but we might as well be. The whole idea of loving our neighbors (those that are loveable) and hating our enemies is an idea that we easily gravitate to. And WAY too many people flesh that out every day!

Here’s You response to that mindset, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

See those exclamation points? Your words are not just idle suggestions – You mean business! From my own vantage point I would think that if anyone would possibly have reason to hate, it is You, Lord. You literally give us everything and are we grateful? …some of us yes but a majority of Your creation, not in the least. We are so arrogant and full of ourselves that we go so far as to deny Your very existence!

But what do you do? You give Your “sunlight to both the evil and the good” and You send Your “rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

And that’s the kicker, God calls us, his “true children”, to act as He would act, “to be perfect, even as [our] Father in heaven is perfect.”

Lord Jesus, that word “perfect” is daunting, to say the least, but it is a calling to be all we were made to be. You know our limitations and You know how far we can be stretched. I would pray that I would be Your “true” child. Your love is long-suffering and You will never give up on me. “Because of Your great love…[Your]compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Amen –so be it!

Nov 27th, Mon, 6:59 am

Cold World

It is a beautiful morning, Father – another gracious gift, one of an incalculable number of gifts, from Your almighty hand! All praise to my God and Creator! Amen!

Regardless of where we live, north or south, or the season in which we find ourselves, we live in a cold, cold world. So much pain and suffering, so much hate and violence, so much selfishness and greed – we are all chilled to the bone. Sin does that. We, in and of ourselves, can do nothing about it. We are condemned to suffer in a meaningless existence, frozen to the core.

I know it is spring – at least where I live – but all of John’s talk of love has brought this cold to mind.

I don’t recall meeting anyone who did not enjoy a crackling fire. In a fireplace inside or a fire ring outside, there is just something about a fire that draws you in. It is inviting. It is comforting. Regardless of gender, race or age, we like to sit and watch it do its thing, we enjoy basking in its warmth.

Love – real genuine love – does the same thing.

Lord, You are the source of all love, for You are love. 1 John 4:8, 16

“This is real love – not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” v16

“We know how much God loves us, and we put our trust in his love.” v16

“We love each other because he loved us first.” v19

Lord, I may live in a cold, cold world but the fire of Your love within me dispels the cold. Cold has no power of its own – it cannot recreate itself. In actuality cold does not exist, it is merely the absence of heat. May I radiate the heat – the love – that you have placed within me. May I be a comfort to those in need, to the lost, the hurting…and the frozen. May they be drawn to You through me. And may they welcome Your fire in themselves so the cold may be banished in their lives, as well. Amen!

May 16th, Tues, 6:26 am

I Am Your Child…Not a Robot

What a week it has been, Father! Thank You for Your strength, Your wisdom, and Your rest through it all. May I be used of You this day. Amen.

1 John 3:1-3 (<<click here)

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”

What a privilege to be called children of God! We are not just His creation or His servants, His followers, His robots or His puppets. We are His children and he proudly owns up to the fact that we are His children.

One of the fun banterings parents have back and forth is that when kids are well behaved they are my children and when they misbehave or are ornery they are your children. It’s all done in fun but in many situations, fun is not the intent. How many families are broken because a child or a parent has said or done something that is labeled as “unforgivable”? And there it sits. The anger or hurt or pride runs so deep and is so ingrained that attempts at reconciliation are futile.

Lord, I am so grateful that Your word does not equate You with anger or pride but it says You are love. 1 John 4:8 Love is the driving force in how You feel about us. You love us so “very much” that “[You] call us [Your] children.” Many of us diligently strive to separate ourselves from You. But regardless of destructive actions, Your mind will not be changed. The indisputable fact remains that You love us. You love us so much that You gave Your very life so that we might be saved. John 3:16

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for not letting me go…

Apr 23rd, Sun, 6:25 am

The Essence of Our Entirety

It’s one of those quiet evening times where I get myself to settle down and write (or type as the case may be). Father, there is no greater companion than You. Today has not been a crazy day by any means but through it all, we have been together. Thank You for Your comforting presence.

1 John 2:3-6 (<<click here)

Lord, if I tried to put the essence of your entirety into one single word, it would have to be the word LOVE. The Apostle John himself a few verses later in this epistle states that You are love. 1 John 4:8

He is also the apostle that, in his Gospel, quotes You as saying,

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12

Here in this passage he says,

3And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 6Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Lord, the life You lived on this old earth was a life of love from the moment You chose to come to live amongst us to the moment You were taken up into heaven following the forty days You encouraged the disciples after Your resurrection. Why can’t we get it? It is so simple, Youloveus! Every interaction with every single individual of Your creation was full of love. Even Your sternness with the religious leaders of Your day was tough love. You want no one to perish. John 3:16

So…if we claim to “know God” we should obey You. If we say that we “live in God” then we “should live [our] lives as Jesus did.” We must love the lovable and those who are not.

In fact, we must not just love the unlovable but we must love the hateful, as well. What were some of Your final words from the cross?

“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”   Luke 23:34

May others be able to put the essence of our entirety into one single word as well – LOVE. Amen!

Apr 6th, Thurs, 8:18 pm

Drive the Formula

Thank You, Father, for a good day yesterday both in worship and with family. As this day gets underway several needs come to mind. Several family members are struggling with physical issues today and I would ask that Your hand be upon each person. May Your presence be known. May they have a portion of Your strength. May they be encouraged, knowing that Your children are lifting them up in prayer today. And if it is Your will, please place Your healing touch upon them all. Amen

1 Peter 3:8 (<<click here)

Lord, one of the greatest benefits of being a part of your family is that You set us up to succeed. We are often not successful when we allow “fleshly” – sinful – elements to filter into the mix. But if we keep our eyes on You and off the world we can accomplish great things.

Peter gives us an excellent formula. We are all to be of “one mind” – unified, pursuing the same goals. So many endeavors fall apart because we all have different agendas and quite often we push for things that benefit ourselves. Working together provides a bond and helps us to filter out fleshly elements.

We are called to “sympathize with each other.” Working together in a dedicated fashion we can’t help but see each other – we are drawn together. As we interact, our needs and struggles begin to surface and instead of driving us apart or allowing it to ostracize certain members of the whole; our interactions should enable us to respond with helping hands and receptive hearts to the needs of others.

This unity and sympathy is a natural outpouring of our “love” for “each other.” Love is our motivator and “covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) It’s the glue that holds us together. After all, Lord, Your “are love.” (1 John 4:8)

Another portion of the formula is to “be tenderhearted.” As we love each other, and as we become more and more like You, we become more sensitive to the thoughts and needs of others. And because of that love, our heart’s desire is to meet those needs – to love others not just with words but by what we do, as well.

And lastly, we are to keep “a humble attitude.” Others first, self last. Our desire becomes for others to succeed and to rejoice with them when they do. As John the Baptist states in John the Apostle’s Gospel, You, Lord, “must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30) You are to be first and foremost in our lives and as we live out that truth, our goal becomes the same in our relationship with others.

Lord, may this formula drive my actions each and every day with those whom I would interact. May who I am reflect Your presence in my life. Amen.

Jan. 2nd, Mon., 6:27 am