“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.” – 1 John 4: 20a NIV
Welcome to the 6th devotional recap for the year. This week, we learnt to love God, our siblings, unbelievers, and believers. We also learnt how to handle professional relationships.
We kickstarted the week by learning about sibling love. The gospel is proof that God is love (John 3: 16). By receiving the gospel, we have become beings of love, just like Him. Love isn’t always easy; as is seen in the relationship between Jacob and Esau(Genesis 25-28), Joseph and his brothers and in many other sibling relationships throughout the Bible. However, God desires that we love our siblings (from birth and in Christ) fervently (1 Peter 4: 8); just as he loves us(1 John 4: 20a).
On Tuesday, we discussed honouring our parents. Contrary to the world’s beliefs, God’s standard for how we should treat our parents is with honour (Exodus 20: 12). This is neither optional nor conditional. Honour them, not just because doing so is a commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:1), but because God says so (Leviticus 19:3). You must obey, respect, care for them and never speak negatively of them.
Wednesday’s devotional taught us to love unbelievers (1 Corinthians 13: 1). Our actions as believers speak louder than our words. Therefore, we must show love to everyone we meet. We show love to unbelievers by praying for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2), caring for them, assisting them financially and otherwise, and being patient with them. These little acts of kindness are important. However, the greatest love we can show unbelievers is preaching the gospel to them (Mark 16:15). God desires that all should come to the knowledge of Christ.
On Thursday, we learnt how to love believers. Remember that the gospel of Christ is not only a message to believe, but also an example to follow. How we love other believers shows who we belong to (John 13:35,1 John 3:16). We are to love believers because we belong to one family. Our love can be seen in how we pray for the saints and show compassion to our brethren (Ephesians 4:32). Keep in mind that whatever you do to a believer, you do to God.
The week ended with an insight into handling professional relationships. Our professional relationships are just as important as spiritual relationships and we must be intentional about them. To effectively manage professional relationships, we should be dedicated (Proverbs 22: 29), disciplined, and honest (Proverbs 11:3). we should also be genuine(Colossians 3: 23-24) and give honour – to both our co-workers and superiors. Remember that even in the workplace, we are called to be light.
Our anchor scripture reminds us that we can’t say we love God but hate the people we interact with daily – From our family, unbelievers, fellow believers, even to that mean superior at work. Remember that you are love because your Father is love.
Have a great weekend!
Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 33-34