Tuesday, April 29, 2008


But the fruit of the Spirit is love....
Galatians 5:22, CSB


Father, you are love. In your love, you created mankind and blessed us. You made us in your own image to enjoy your forever. In love, you promised redemption to the first people who sinned against you. In love, you called Abram and gave him a new name; you gave him a son by your promise, and you made a great nation from him. In love, you sent Joseph to Egypt ahead of your people. In love, you brought Moses back to Egypt to lead your people into the Promised Land. In love, you bore with the Hebrews' grumbling through the desert. In love, you disciplined your people, even to the point of letting them be taken into captivity; but in love, you brought your people back to the Promised Land. In love, you sent prophets to your people and told them to look forward to your promised one. And when the time was right, you demonstrated your love to us by sending Jesus to live a perfect life and die a sinner's death, but then raised him from the dead and, through him, brought eternal life to all those who are called by you.

And to those you called, you have given your Holy Spirit to change our hearts so that we may love you and love like you. You changed John from a zealous youth who wanted to call down fire from heaven to kill the Samaritans into an elder whose heart was on fire for the cause of your mission. You changed Paul from a self-righteous Pharisee who sought the destruction of your church into a man who was willing to sacrifice his entire life for the cause of helping lose people find their home in your church. You have continued to change lives throughout history. You changed John Newton from the captain of a slave ship into a minister who stood amazed at the grace that saved a wretch like him. You changed George Muller from an rebellious sinner into a sinner saved by grace desiring nothing more than to show the world that you are faithful and can be trusted in everything.

Father, my I come to truly understand your love. May your love fill my heart and overflow from my soul. May your Spirit pour out your love into the hearts of your people so that your church would truly be known for the love it shows.

Father, teach us to love our enemies and give us the strength to put the needs of others above our own needs. Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves. Give us a desire to ease the suffering of others and to heal their wounds.

Instead of loving you and loving what you love, our sinful nature leads us to love our own honor. We seek our own power and want to use that power over others. But, true love is a willingness to give our own lives in the service of others, just as Jesus willingly gave his life for us. Teach us to love.

Father, I pray that I would love you with my heart, all my soul, all my strength and my mind. And may that be true of everyone in your church.

I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen

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