September 21, 2020

What We Need

 Devotion for the Week...

I have not often read the book of Jude, but one day a couple of weeks ago I did and I was struck by one sentence in the opening of the short letter. In verse 1, Jude says, "I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ." So the letter may have been addressed specifically to those who were alive when Jude put the words on the paper, but really it is for all the believers who would ever live. These words are for you and for me. An important point, but that's not what caught my attention. 

After specifying who the letter was for, Jude then says, "May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love" (v.2). All I could think when I read that was That's exactly what we need!

We need God's mercy to cover our sins, our shortcomings, our failures. We need the peace only He can give, especially now in a year so full of turmoil and uncertainty. We need His love as every child longs for a parent's love.

With that, we also need His mercy, peace and love to flow through us to the people around us. In 2 Corinthians 1:4, Paul wrote, "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." What if we followed that same principle with the mercy, peace and love He gives us?

We all experience times when people disappoint us with their actions. What if we offered mercy rather than condemnation?

In our personal relationships and in the world at large, how would things change if we worked to bring about peace, rather than to fuel division? Not to keep the status quo, but to help create true peace of mind, body and soul for everyone.

And what would happen if we all allowed His love to fill us so completely that it overflowed to everyone around us? Love is supposed to be a defining characteristic of Christians, but I wonder sometimes how many non-believers would use that word to describe us as a group. Jesus said, "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:34, 35). Jesus was talking specifically about our love for other believers, but I don't think we'd be disqualified as His disciples if we extended that love to others, too.

Background quilt is New Life

As Jude said, may God give us all more and more mercy, peace, and love, and may we then share it freely with others.

4 comments:

  1. As Christians, we must not only talk the talk, but we must walk the walk. In fact, it's our actions that define us more than what we say. We must each LIVE as though we're following Christ. I sure understand that, but putting it into action is more difficult. In my morning bible study from 1 Thessalonians 2:4-5, I learned that Paul and Silas Thessalonia where they'd been flogged and imprisoned for stirring things up in the marketplace (commanding a fortune-telling spirit to leave a girl whose owner lost his source of income - Acts 16:16-24). In spite of their treatment - or maybe because of it - Paul and Silas were more determined than ever to preach the gospel news. If only we acted likewise, speaking more boldly than ever when we've been condemned and/or mistreated.

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  2. Let our lights shine! I love Philippians 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel.

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  3. I think of the song "And they'll know we are Christians.." I pray that it would be true!

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