The Power of Love
1 John 4:7-12
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
The Bible in so many ways tells the story of God’s love for us. God is love and he made us in love. His call to us is love one another as he loves us. The Book of Jonah tells the story of God’s love for his people in the city of Ninevah and how God worked through Jonah to save those who love Him. Despite our shortcomings as humans and how we fail him repeatedly, his love for us never fails.
Only love can change the mind
God asked Jonah to go to Ninevah and warn the people that they were going to be destroyed because of their evil deeds. Jonah heard clearly what God wanted but instead of doing as commanded he chose to run away from the task. He ran because he also disliked Ninevah’s ways and wanted to see them destroyed. His mind was set on their downfall to the point that he tried to defeat God’s goal to warn the people.
Jonah’s mindset is one we can relate to. We too can have our minds set on something that is not what God’s mind is set on. God kept coming after Jonah to change his mind so he would do what was commanded. God’s actions caused Jonah to recall his vow to worship and serve God above all. Once Jonah changed his mind and preached to the Ninevites, they repented and were spared by God. Only God’s love can change how we think so we can go about our life with a lens of love.
Q: What are the hardest biblical commands for you to heed?
Only love can change the heart
God softened Jonah’s heart toward the Ninevites. As he experienced God’s grace in warnings to him to repent of disobeying the command to preach, he opened his heart to speak truthfully to the Ninevites. Jonah’s message to the people lead them to repent and return to God wholeheartedly. God’s endless, overflowing love for his people changed their heart. How soft or hard is your heart right now towards doing what God wants? Is your heart leading you to fulfill your vows to God and His church?
Q: How do you see God working to soften your heart lately?
Only love can deliver hope
Doing what God commanded did not make it easy for Jonah. He asked God to take his life in hopelessness that the Ninevites could change. His love and faith in the people were exceptionally low. Again, God challenged Jonah’s thinking and heart. He lead him to acknowledge God’s power to change lives through hope and love. Only God’s love – often delivered through us – can deliver hope.
Q: Are you relying on the strength of your heart or on the supernatural power of God’s love?
Take a moment and reflect on how much God loves you!
Let’s tap into God’s love daily and keep our hearts afire (Matthew 24:12).
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