“My best friend doesn’t want to be best friends with me anymore.” Her lip quivered as she told her Grandma the sad news. She was only 6 years old, but she was already learning a hard lesson. In a world that is all about me and my feelings, relationships are fickle and changing. Daily headlines tell us which couple has called it quits and given up on their relationship. Families are divided over differences of opinion.

But what does God’s Word tell us about our relationships? Shouldn’t those of us who are Christ-followers have a different measuring stick? These verses in 1 John make it very clear. The reason we are to love one another is because God first loved us. Since he now lives in us, that same love has been made complete in us. Not only that, he has given us his Holy Spirit to make it all possible. We don’t have to do it on our own.

So, what does that look like? Love is more than just a feeling. It is intentional, and involves a level of commitment that will weather the test of time and challenges. We don’t have to agree on everything, but we are still commanded to show love to one another.

A good friend of mine was widowed and moved back into the area after decades of living a province away. We made a commitment to regularly have lunch to catch up on what was happening in our lives and what we could pray about. And that’s just what we did! Whether in the cold of winter, or on beautiful summer days, we made it a priority and put it into our calendar. But it didn’t just happen. We have been intentional about spending time together, committed to our relationship, and as a result, blessed with an ever-deepening friendship.

When we love one another the way God commands us to, it goes beyond just feelings which are fickle and can easily change. It bridges differences in opinion or a change in circumstances. It reflects God in us, at work in us, in the power of his Spirit and should set us apart from those that don’t have him living in their lives.

Do your relationships reflect God’s love? Is there someone you need to reach out to today? Who can you be intentional about loving this week?

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that you are love and that you live in me today. Help me to love others in a way that reflects your love for them through me. Use me to be your hands and feet to show your love to the people around me. Amen.

Throughout this Day: Pick one relationship today in which you want to be intentional in showing your love for that person. Ask God to show you a practical way to do that and then do exactly that.

Tags: Daily Devotional 1 John 4
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