(For The Prayer Challenge Devotional)
1 John 3:11 – "For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another."
It has been said many times, "It is not just what you know; it is who you know." That might very well be true in certain circumstances, but there is something we ought to consider in addition to that: what about how we are treating who we know?
When people enter our lives, it is for a particular reason and season. We would be wise to ask the Lord what that reason is. Are they there to show us something or teach us something? Are they there to help us face certain tests that come our way? Or have we entered their lives so we can possibly help them? Whatever the reason, we need to respect that reason and be sure to honor God by loving them the way Christ would. Honestly, we might not always like certain people in our lives, but we should always love them. To love someone is to do right by them. Love is more than an emotional state; it involves direct action.
Think for a second about who you are connected to. Consider your friends, your immediate family and relatives, your co-workers, your significant other, or your spouse. In the daily hustle and bustle of daily life, it can become easy to take them for granted. It can become easy to not dig beyond the surface level of the connections we have with people to see what they really might be dealing with. Do you have their best interests at heart? Do you pray for them to grow in Christ, or to embrace a relationship with Him if they have yet to do so? Do you encourage them to do good things? Do you assist them when they solicit your help? Do you comfort them during their time of hardship? The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."
God can comfort us Himself directly. And He also takes great joy in using us to bring comfort to others. The question is, have we made ourselves available for His use? When we make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit, that shows the ultimate connection we have to the Lord Jesus.
Prayer Focus: Lord, please help me to be aware of how I am connected to people beyond the surface level. Please show me how to exhibit the kind of love towards them that You would have me to in order to please You.
Study Focus: Exodus 20:12; Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 17:17; Matthew 12:50, 19:6; 1 Corinthians 12:14-26; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Reflection: We are connected to different people in different ways. But no matter what type of connections we have with others, this remains essential regardless of the scenario: we should show them the love of Christ. By loving people, we show that we love God.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.