[Today’s devotion on loving others is from the Weekend Word devotional series. Come back every Saturday for more insights from God’s Word.]
Today’s Scripture: “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:26, NIV).
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
“My marker ran out.” One of the girls in the class sighed as the ink from her blue marker faded more and more until there was barely anything coming out at all. There was no way she would be able to finish coloring the sky on her paper with the marker she had.
“Your classmate has a blue marker. Why don’t you ask him if you can borrow it so that you can finish coloring your sky?” I suggested.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? You’re working on a project and you just don’t have enough of what you need. It can be intimidating asking someone else to let you borrow their supplies. What if they think you were unprepared? What if they won’t give it to you and you’re stuck with a half-colored sky?
The feeling of not having enough is frustrating. Having to ask someone else for their supplies can be even more so. Many of us, myself included, would much rather go to the store and buy more of what we need rather than ask someone if we can borrow theirs.
But there are some things you can’t go to the store to buy more of.
The Bible talks often about loving others. We need to love God (Mark 12:30), our neighbors (Mark 12:31), other believers (1 John 4:20), and our enemies (Matthew 5:44). So, basically everyone.
Even though we don’t like to admit it, this is hard sometimes. It’s hard a lot of the time. While we know we’re supposed to love others, we’re human and our human nature gets in the way. Our emotions, our experiences, and our preconceived notions about other people all cloud our ability to feel and express love for other human beings, whether those people are friends, acquaintances, or people with whom we disagree.
This isn’t an excuse not to love others, but rather an explanation of why we don’t get it right all the time, and why we’re not always going to be able to express the kind of love God asks us to out of the love we have in our own hearts.
We just don’t have enough love sometimes. That is, we don’t have enough out of our own supply.
Just like the girl in my class needed to ask her classmate for another marker when hers ran out, we need to ask God for more love when we’re running dry. It wasn’t her fault the marker ran out. Markers do that sometimes (A lot of the time, actually. Marker’s are frustrating like that.) But when her supply ran out, she needed to borrow out of someone else’s supply.
Your supply of love will run out. But you don’t have to love out of your supply only. You just have to love. When Jesus was praying to the Father in John 17, He prayed for Himself, His disciples, and for all believers. As He concluded His prayer for all who would believe in Him, He said He made the Father known to us so that the Father’s love would be in us. This is the same love that the Father has for His Son. That same deep, unfailing, unending love that the Father has for Jesus is in us. Let that sink in for a moment.
We run into problems when we try to love out of our own selves. Thankfully, God’s love never runs out. We can love others like He wants us to because He loves us (1 John 4:19) and because His love is in us. When we draw out of His supply, we can love in a way that is unclouded by human shortcomings and lives up to the standards of 1 Corinthians 13.
Today’s Thoughts: Many of us face shortcomings when it comes to love. Are you struggling to love someone in the way that you should? How would drawing from God’s supply of love make a difference in that situation?