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Choosing Love

Today you read and finished 2 John – let’s go to 3 John next. It’s only one chapter also so you can finish the entire book in one day!


2 John 1

SCRIPTURE

2 John 1:6, “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.” (NLT)

OBSERVATION

Love means doing what God has commanded.

That’s an interesting idea. Most of the time we think of love as a feeling, a condition, something we stumble into or fall out of, but that’s not what God says. God says love is a choice. God looks to you and says, “I love you.” He chooses you. When he talks about the kind of love he wants in return he’s thinking of a similar choice. He wants you to willfully and deliberately choose him.

He want us to choose each other as well, to choose to show grace and mercy like he has shown us, to show favor that’s underserved and kindness in spite of circumstance.

At the end of this chapter he explains that some people try to love without him. They try to deny the truth that Jesus Christ is real or that they need him at all in order to experience real love. Without Christ we can express and experience something that looks and feels a lot like love, but it will never be the abiding love that comes from the deliberate choice of one empowered with a strength of commitment whose source is everlasting.

APPLICATION

Another passage of Scripture says, “Don’t just say you love people, really love them.” Today, I choose love. I choose to demonstrate the grace, mercy and lovingkindness of God to others.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love. Thank you for giving me the capacity for real love. Help me love people the way you do.

I love you, in Jesus name –
Chad

Unintended Consequences

There is incalculable influence in the choices you make today.

Alexander Fleming, the scientist who discovered penicillin once said, “When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic…But I suppose that was exactly what I did.

According to Nestle, Mrs. Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn was making chocolate cookies and ran out of chocolate. She decided to substitute semisweet chocolate in her recipe thinking the chocolate would melt. It didn’t. She pulled from the oven the very first batch of chocolate chip cookies ever baked.

August 24, 1853, George Crum, a cook at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York, was fed up with the complaints of a customer who kept sending back his potatoes saying they were too thick and soggy. Spitefully, he cut the potato so thin and fried it so crisp the customer couldn’t possibly eat it with a fork. It was the first batch of Potato Chips ever served.

For Peter it was another day of fishing. While his brother, Andrew, had gone once again to hear that preacher, John the Baptist. John introduces Andrew to Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Andrew comes home to introduce Peter to Jesus. A fisherman is transformed into a fisher of men. These ignorant and unlearned men become the first disciples in a movement of God we’re still talking about today.

What will be the unintended consequences of the choices you make today? Will eternity echo with the sound of your influence? Will the next Billy Graham be affected by your actions? Is it possible that today you could be the inspiration for the next business leader, scientist, artist, politician or preacher who will reshape our culture?

Your words matter. Your choices make a difference. Every outburst of wrath, every expression of love, every thoughtful or thoughtless conversation carries unintended consequences.

Give your thoughts, motives, words and action to God. Ask Him to shape the unintended consequences of the choices you make today.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Knowing What to Do

I meet people everyday who are unsure of what to do next. Should I quit this job, take that job, take a risk that could move my family halfway across the country? What about relationships? Should I ask that girl out? Should we take our relationship to the next level – whatever that means – should we get married?

We know there’s purpose behind who we are, what we are supposed to do and how we’re supposed to do it. We feel inside us the potential of ‘could’, ‘should’ and ‘would’ – if only we knew for sure what to do, how to do it and when. If only we had the opportunity or the skill or the resources.

Imagine that today you have all three – the opportunity, the skill and the resources. What would you do?

God has a plan and purpose for you. Do you know what it is? Are you currently living that plan, that purpose? It’s not as hidden as you might expect. It’s not as difficult to discover as you might suppose. God uses three tools to help us find our way.

Needs & Abilities – Someone near you has a need. Some how, some way, God has given you the ability and resources to meet that need. Your choice to do something about it may not be history making, but it will make a difference. God has given you skills, talents and resources how will you use the gifts you’ve been given to add value to others?

His Word – We may not always know the specific details of which choice to make, but God’s Word provides principles and precepts that guide our every day decisions. His Word gives guidelines for godly living. You may hate your job. Your relationships may be in shambles. Regardless of what circumstance you’re in today, knowing and living by God’s Word will move you toward fulfilling His purpose and plan for you.

Kairos Moments – Kairos is a Greek word. It means a moment in time that changes eternity, a moment in time that changes all other moments after it. Kairos moments are those watershed times we look back on as life defining. Graduation Day. The wedding proposal. Taking that job instead of the other one. The tragedy that took you someplace you never expected. God speaks through Kairos moments. They are moments that interrupt our lives and affect everything after.

Do you know what to do today? How will you react if today brings a Kairos Moment? Will you live by His Word? What needs do you see around you? What abilities do you have?

You know what to do. Now do it.

“Therefore to him who knows to do good, but does not do it, to him it is sin.” James 4:17