While reading Adam Hamilton’s devotional, “24 Hours That Changed the World: 40 Days of Reflection”, I was reminded of a powerful verse that should be a call to action.
In John 15:12, Jesus says, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”
Hamilton writes that carrying out this command requires us to stay connected to Christ. He writes, “If we remain connected to the Vine, pursuing practices that help us abide in Christ, we will bear fruit – not just praying, reading the Bible, worshiping, and giving, but demonstrating our love for others through out actions. This love is more than just warm affection; it is a willingness to put others before ourselves and to practice kindness, to do justice, to seek the good of others, and to bless.”
As I read that passage, I found myself thinking, “Yes! That’s it! This is what this journey of faith is supposed to be about. It’s not about warm fuzzies and feel-good religion. It’s about real love…active love…selfless love. It’s about putting others first. It’s about ‘practicing kindness’. It’s about doing justice. It’s about seeking ‘the good of others’. It’s about finding ways to bless those around us.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in a selfish pursuit of faith. We pray, we read, we go to church…all in an effort to make ourselves better people…all in an effort to make ourselves feel better about, well, ourselves. Maybe the best way to make ourselves better people is to live out lives of love. A faith that is void of loving others isn’t much of a faith at all. A faith that is void of the pursuit of justice doesn’t reflect a faith modeled after the life of Jesus.
Today, I want to live out this kind of love. Today, I want to put into action the words of Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”