As a church, we are a family! Throughout the I BELONG series, we are going to seek God together through daily devotionals! Please join with us in praying and spending time in God’s word over the next several weeks!
The purpose of these devotions is to help us as we seek to fix our heart on God on a daily basis.
Each day, in our quiet time, we must worship God by fixing our hearts on Him. Fixing our hearts on God involves a deliberate stirring of our affections toward Hm. – Clyde Cranford
Each devotion is divided into three parts: Read, Reflect and Apply.
Read the entire selected Bible passage(s) and meditate on the key verse(s).
Read the reflective thought that explains each days chosen Bible passage and daily theme. Ask God to reveal Himself to you more and more each day.
Here, we will be challenged to apply what we’ve read in our daily lives!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”—John 13:34-35
As a Jesus follower, you and I belong to a family. Because I have a relationship with God, I now have a relationship with God’s family. God is my Father, and other Christians are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The family of God always manifests itself locally in a fellowship called the church. Church is not an event we attend. Church is a family to which we belong. Over 40 times, the New Testament writers describe this fellowship in action using powerful “one another” statements. Today we begin a daily journey examining these statements. Each day you’ll receive Biblical insight into what it looks like to live out your relationship with God in fellowship with His family, and a practical application to put that insight into practice.
Today, we discover that Jesus commands us to “love one another”. This “one another” is actually repeated about 17 times in the New Testament. And if that admonition isn’t challenging enough, then Jesus adds, “even as I have loved you.” That’s a high standard! Think about all the ways Jesus loves you and me. He loved us initially—meaning He loved me before I loved Him…He loved us sacrificially—meaning He gave His life for me…He loves us unconditionally—meaning there is nothing I can do today to change His incredible love for me…He loves us faithfully—meaning His love for me is never-changing…and that is exactly how He desires to love others in His family through you and me today.
Practical Application: One dimension of His love for us is that He loved us first. That means that He reached out to me in love before I loved Him. Who in your small group or circle of influence at church can you reach out to in the love of Christ in this way? Who can you love today first? Ask God to reveal someone today with whom you can share His love,and which is in no way a response to his or her love for you. Take the initiative to love someone first today!