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Our Worried Hearts

Our Worried Hearts

25 December 2010

Today’s Reading: 1 John 1-5

Merry Christmas, Friends! May your life be blessed this Christmas Season.

Scripture:

18 My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. 19 This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. 20 It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. (1 John 3:18-20 MSG)

The core message of 1 John is “Love God and love people. This is how you know if you’re truly God’s child and part of his family.” This part of John’s letter speaks especially to those of us who struggle with debilitating self-criticism and often feel we’re disappointing Father God. John says that if we practice real love, if we love others like Christ loved us, if we love others as we love ourselves, it will shut down our self-criticism and allow us to relax and rest in God’s love for us.

The result: Priceless Peace!

21 And friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God! 22 We’re able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we’re doing what he said, doing what pleases him. 23 Again, this is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. 24 As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:21-24 MSG)

This is the command we are to obey: To believe in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to respond to God’s love by loving him back, and to love others as he loves us and as we love ourselves. It’s not religion! It’s all loving relationship! It’s love!

Prayer:

Father, I love you and I love your people – my brothers and sisters in Christ. Help me to live that love each day, in every possible way. I want to love more deeply, serve more effectively, and give more freely in the coming year. Because you loved me first. Amen.

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