Daily Devotion, 12/05/2018, “Love One Another, Part 2”
1 John 4:7-11 NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Most summers I travel to Benin in west Africa to join my good friends with Orphan Relief and Rescue in their work to rescue and restore children who have be trafficked to neighboring countries. What captures me most are the eyes of these precious kids. Initially their eyes reflect no emotion. They are distant, dark and mostly looking down. After just a few days of being loved, protected and cared for, joy and light begin to displace a lifetime of sadness and darkness. Their eyes begin to literally light up as they learn how to smile, to laugh and to love. It is a breathtaking transformation to behold, the kind of transformation only love can bring about.
Love comes from God who is, more than anything else, by His very nature, love. The more of Him we take in, the more our own darkness and sadness gets displaced by His light and love. As that beautiful transformation takes place on the inside, it begins to show up on the outside. As God mends our wounded hearts, restores the dignity we lost to sin and redeems the brokenness of all we’ve been through, we fall in love with Him, we begin to love ourselves and we desire to give to others the love that has been given to us. It is a breathtaking transformation to behold! To “know God,” as John writes about in this passage, is to know love. Once you know love, you can’t help but “to love one another.” You are loved!
PS Tim and Rebecca Pratt with Orphan Relief and Rescue will be sharing with us at CrossRoads this Sunday, December 9th. You’re invited! We will have a short info meeting after both services for those interested in going to Benin this summer.