Though February is often known as the ‘month of love,’ Jesus calls us to live a lifestyle of love towards all—both in word and deed. After taking some time to read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, make a 2 column list. On one side, write down ways you can show Christ-like love. On the other side, write down words that reflect Christ-like love. Think about those you pass by every day and those you work with. What would it look like if you intentionally showed love in word and deed towards them? Pray today and ask the Lord to lead you into opportunities to reflect His love to those in your everyday life.
Harm is judged by the one on the receiving end of the interaction and is always judged over time. Have you ever said or done something, even by mistake, that hurt someone, you know? Were you frustrated at the moment? Distraught? Hangry? Were you able to make things right with that person? If not, today is a great day for a fresh start. Make Hebrews 12:14-15 your prayer today as you consider what good could come of your step towards reconciliation. As you pray, ask the Lord for courage and humility together as you make your move to make things right!
No one’s belief about faith and the LGBTQ community entitles them to treat anyone in an unloving or ungracious manner. We can agree to disagree, as long as that disagreement isn’t rooted in ANYONE’s oppression. In what ways have you noticed oppression taking place in history, recent months, or today? As you read over Luke 4:18-19 think about people in the world, your city, your neighborhood who may be experiencing oppression. Pray for them and then reach out to those you can. Offer them a break from the oppression through gracious love as you reflect the heart of Jesus towards them.
Jesus was always making room for people. He chose to sit both with prostitutes and Pharisees. Jesus had room at his table for both. Can you embrace Romans 14:19 today? As you read over that scripture, personalize it and make it your anthem today and the rest of your days. As you pray, ask the Lord to bring to your mind someone who you may not see eye to eye with though you value and love them. If your space and budget allow, invite them to your table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner this weekend. If not, take time to write them a note of encouragement and personally hand it to them!
As followers of Christ, we need to pursue unity and diversity. Quarreling over everything, demanding your way, demanding that all TRUE Christians must think like you is not helpful, but rather divisive. Read over Romans 15:5-7. Highlight the words that are inspiring to you. Then ask yourself: In what ways are you embracing diversity in your relationships with your friends, co-workers, classmates, or with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Take a moment to pray over those relationships and make an intentional effort to share encouragement with those in your sphere of influence this weekend.
TALK IT OVER
- How do you typically spend Valentine’s Day?
- How do you know someone loves you?
- How do you best show love to others?
- Share about how you first discovered faith in Christ. How has your faith grown over time?
- Look over Galatians 5:22-23. What fruits of the Spirit do you wish to sow into the world around you?
- Have you gotten an opportunity to check out the resources for the Clarity series online yet?
- What does it mean, to you, to pursue unity AND diversity?
- Take a moment to pray this prayer together: Lord Jesus, teach us unity. Renew our hearts and teach us to love as you love us, teach us to forgive as you forgive us. Amen.