We are told from a young age that we are to love others well. Don’t be mean to your siblings, share your belongings, and respect your parents. These are tactile ways we can show love to our families, and while they are still relevant as we get older, we also start to wonder: what does it mean to love others well? How can I do that?
Let’s look at what God says above love. Obviously, this is not an unknown topic to the Lord and there are countless places in Scripture where the idea of love can be found, signifying its importance. However, for the sake of this study, we will look at a verse in John specifically: John 13:34-25. Here, Jesus says ‘”a new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’”
Jesus commands us to love one another, just as He loves. Therefore, since Jesus loved all and continues to love all, we are called to do the same. Everyone. Everyone you pass by, hear about on the news, live next door to, and sit with around the dinner table. When we actively love those around us, we are taking the same love that Jesus pours out to us and become a display for His humanity.
Love is not just a nice and warm feeling. As Christians, we are called to do more than that – we are called to take action. We can share God’s love by noticing the unnoticed, loving the unlovely, and extend grace to those who are not easy to be around.
Romans 12:9-10, 13-16 also give us a great idea of how to express love in action, but I entrust you all to look that up on your own. But let’s make it our prayer today to ask God to help us actively love others. And that certainly looks different right now than it has in the past, but in no ways limits the ways in which we can actively show the love of God to others. Let us ask God to lead us to these places where He wants us to shine His light and ask Him for the courage and strength to share His love with all who surround us in our daily lives. When we partner with those around us who are also actively loving others, who knows how many ways we will be able to show the love of God to those around us? How exciting is it that we are called to be a light in this unknown time? We are called to be active in love, so I challenge us all to go before the Lord and see where He is calling us to take His love and how. –Katie Hufnagle
Journal Guide: Take some time to get alone today and take about 15-20 minutes to journal through these questions. Journaling is a way we pray to God, so see what God might be telling you.
1. Read Romans 12:9-10, 13-16. What ideas inspire you? Which are more overwhelming?
2. What ways have you seen active love in your family/at school/at church?
3. What ways can you show active love to your friends/family in the coming week?
4. Take some time to write a prayer to God.
Conversation Guide: Ask three questions to your siblings and parents. We think doing it over the dinner table or right after dinner is a great time to do it.
1. Recall a time in the last month when you showed active love to someone.
2. How does helping others make you feel?
3. What is one person/family/group we can check in on this week? What actions can we take to show them love?
Prayer: Read John 13 and then read this prayer by yourself:
Dear God, thank you for your deep and radical love. Thank you that you show this love to all of humanity, and that everyone has the invitation to experience this transformational love. Help lead me to be active in response to your love. I pray you guide me to the people and places where you want me to actively love others as you continually love all. Meet us where we are today Lord, and guide and protect us as we navigate how best to love and serve your kingdom. I love you. Amen.