Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage for Meditation: John 15:9-17
Key Verse: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 15:17
I recently stumbled upon a profound quote from C. S. Lewis that aptly put the concept of love into perspective for me. “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken” (The Four Loves, p. 160).
The world has trained us so well to “self preserve” (another fancy term for being self-centered) that we struggle to be vulnerable, to unreservedly trust, serve, and love our brothers and sisters as we should. And I can identify. For years I’ve busied myself with my career and studies, not wanting to risk the pain of being vulnerable, and of possibly being wounded. However, more and more I’ve grown to understand that if I cannot allow myself to be vulnerable, then I cannot truly love others as Christ intends.
But what does true love look like?
“Love is not simply an impulse, a transitory emotion, dependent upon circumstances; it is a living principle, a permanent power,” Ellen White writes (Our Father Cares, p. 22).
The truth is that the only way we can genuinely show love to our fellowman is to meditate much on the sacrifice and love of Christ. The Bible reminds us that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). This love is without parallel.
However, as we meditate upon Christ, He can change us from the inside out. “The soul is fed by the streams of pure love that flow from the heart of Christ, as a well-spring that never fails. O, how is the heart quickened, how are its motives ennobled, its affections deepened, by this communion! Under the education and discipline of the Holy Spirit, the children of God love one another, truly, sincerely, unaffectedly,—‘without partiality, and without hypocrisy.’ And this because the heart is in love with Jesus. Our affection for one another springs from our common relation to God” (Our Father Cares, p. 22).
Oh, to be in love with Jesus like this, that it overflows every area of our hearts and lives!
In The Acts of the Apostles we are told, “When we study the divine character in the light of the cross we see mercy, tenderness, and forgiveness blended with equity and justice. We see in the midst of the throne One bearing in hands and feet and side the marks of the suffering endured to reconcile man to God. . . . In the contemplation of Christ we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him, and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ! ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins’” (p. 333).
Speaking of being vulnerable, no one has been more vulnerable for us than Christ. In fact, He risked all heaven on our behalf. Can we not be vulnerable and give up what little we have to genuinely love and point others to Him?
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Father, as we prepare to enter into an intensified season of personal and corporate decision-making, we ask that You will unite our church through daily meditation on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. In our individual lives, show us afresh Your grace, that we may corporately show grace to others. Show each of us Your mercy, that we may corporately show mercy. Show us Your forgiveness, that we may corporately forgive. And above all else, open our hearts to accept and experience Your love, that we may share with others just as Christ made Himself vulnerable and shared with us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By Shanter Alexander
(To learn more about God’s faithfulness in Shanter’s life, CLICK HERE.)
[NOTE: For some excellent sharing resources visit GLOW: Giving Light to Our World. Also, available online now on our resource page are links to the video “What Might Have Been, Can Be” in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.]