Focused Love – Week of July 11, 2022

This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:10-11

You have your list in front of you detailing the tasks for the day. It’s a long but doable list and you get right at it. Your phone rings. As you look at the number, what’s your reaction? Recently a number popped up on my phone and I’m ashamed to say that my first reaction was, “I don’t have time for this. This person never talks for less than an hour and I have too many things to do to take this call.”
As we reflect on today’s readings, we are reminded so clearly of God’s command for us—love one another. Nowhere in Scripture will you find God’s daily task list for us except the list that tells us to love one another. That’s not to say that the tasks that we do are unimportant. They most often are. God wants us to be faithful to the responsibilities he has blessed us with. However, we can be so focused on our tasks, that we lose sight of those around us.
“[God] loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” Atone means to make amends for. In this verse, we see that we aren’t the ones making the amends for our sins. Jesus is. God sent Jesus to take any and all punishment that we all deserve for our sins. Jesus made us, “at one”, in unity, with God the Father through the cross. That’s a love beyond understanding. Our response? “Since God so loved us”, since God did this for us, he tells us to turn and share that love for others.
I took that call with a less than loving attitude and soon found myself wrapped in a conversation with someone who needed an ear, an encouragement, a reminder of God’s grace and love. As I hung up, I was glad that I had picked up and ashamed of my initial reaction. What on my list was more important than the person I just spoke to?
Reflect each day, my friends, on the grace, mercy, and love that God gives us each and every day. He does so with a heart full of love for us. We don’t deserve his love and can’t earn his love, especially not by the tasks on our lists. But we can reflect and share that love out of gratitude and in praise of the love he so freely and abundantly gives us.
Get at your list but take that call. Make that call. Set time to be with someone you know who needs to hear about God’s love and grace for them. Don’t mark it off your list but keep it there each and everyday with hearts full of humble gratefulness for God’s love for us.

Dear Father, thank you for your unending, immeasurable love for me. Please help me to have a heart open and eager to share that love with all those you have placed in my life. It’s in your name I pray. Amen

For Further meditation:

Lord of All Nations, Grant Me Grace
CW21 768  / CW93 521

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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