22 August 2016
Reading: Jeremiah 28-30; 1 John 3
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)
It’s not about religion rules and worship rituals. It’s not about comparison and keeping score. The only way we know we’re living in God’s reality is when we practice real love.
16 This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. (1 John 3:16 MSG)
Real Love Actions:
• Living self-sacrificially as Christ lived. Not just living for ourselves.
• Responding to others’ needs when we become aware and have the means to help.
Real Love Results:
• We know we’re living in God’s reality.
• Debilitating self-criticism is shut down.
Debilitating Self-Criticism: I don’t know what proportion of Christ-followers suffer from debilitating self-criticism. Apparently, John understood what it’s like to be self-critical to the point that it affects your ability to function at full capacity. Me too.
Is John merely saying that if I do something self-sacrificial to help someone else, I’ll feel better about myself? Maybe that’s part of it, but this I know – It’s God’s Reality. When I live and love self-sacrificially, I’m in harmony with God – with his heart, his plan, his Kingdom, his reality. That’s what God says about it! We are not who we think we are. We’re not who others think we are. We’re who God thinks we are!
Father, Thanks for spiritual insights that deliver practical tools. Holy Spirit, please keep teaching me the truth about love and prompting me to practice it and not just talk about it. Thanks for being greater than my worried heart. Amen!