He First Loved Us Day 4

gettingreadyforthecross.jpg“….Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” —2 Corinthians 1:3–4 NIV

Jesus calls us to comfort others, offer peace, and share truth because we have been comforted, we have received peace, and we have learned truth. Remember Jesus’ striking words in Mat-thew: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me”(25:35–36 NIV).

This heart for others is not contrived or forced. It is the humble response to the great gift of love we’ve experienced. I was a single homeless mother that was grieving life when Jesus sent someone to love me. I was clothed not only physically but in righteousness. I drank deeply for the first time in years. I drank from the Living Water. I was released from the prison of addiction and stepped into the freedom of redemption. I was given shelter from earth’s elements and provided the shelter of eternity. Jesus introduced me to life that I never knew existed, all because someone loved Jesus enough to love me. First John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us” (NIV).

We do not have to be afraid to love others extravagantly, completely, and unconditionally. When we love others, we are simply introducing them to the Friend who “will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5). Our love for others, while it may seem costly at times, is truly an extension of the love that Jesus first showed us. While we were yet sinners—hungry, thirsty, strange, naked, ill and imprisoned—HE LOVED US. Shouldn’t our response be as generous as Christ was to us? “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (2 Cor 8:2 NIV1984).

Dear God, thank you for finding me with Your love. Thank you for changing my life with Your love. Help me not hold back from loving others, but to demonstrate Your love for others just as Jesus did for me. Before this day ends, may I have an opportunity to offer Your extravagant love to someone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

-Christy L. Pittman, Minister, Lynchburg, Pennsylvania

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