40 Day Daniel Fast Day 31

To work on it, is to work at it!

1 Peter 4:8    Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Did you know that the driving force of all relationships is love? Not just how someone loves us, but how we show love back. How well are we properly relating to each other? You see, strong relationships require us to see all of our relationships in their most diverse forms and not consider them as "one size fits all". Each relationship requires its own nurturing. Notice what Peter says; he tells us we should keep love above and before all things! What is he saying? We need to keep our love walk in front of everything we do, in front of every relationship we have, and in front of our activities. I know that you are thinking, well, if they did what I said, things would be fine, or if they wouldn't hurt me, I wouldn't have to dismiss them, or if they wouldn't have caused me to be upset... Can I ask you a question? When should love be shown? Was Peter encouraging us to show love in the good times only? Was he encouraging us to show love in the moments where we have to white-knuckle it? Or did he mean it all the time? I can tell you, Jesus answered this; Jesus refers to it as a new commandment; He says we are to love one another, just as I have loved you! (John 13:34) Wait, the same love Peter is talking about came from what Jesus says!

I know by now you are saying, how am I to work at this love with people who may not be favorable right now? He said we are to love earnestly, which is defined to love with intent, without ceasing, fervently. You see, I love basketball and the best way to describe to you my love is to discuss the part I don't love: the drills and skills warm-ups. Do you know how often you have to dribble a ball during summer camps before you play one game? There is no number…lol, that's how many times, you see, all I want to do is get to the game, but what keeps me motivated to keep dribbling the ball and practicing the other skills? The Game!

You see, at the moment, it doesn't matter what my hands and arms are feeling, it doesn't matter what my legs may be saying, and can I tell you this, it doesn't matter what my emotions are saying. What matters is the love I have for the game. The dedication I have to the game. Do you know what that is? Placing the game above all. Now, if I am willing to show this much devotion to a ball and a love for a game that hasn't died for me, how much more should I do for the one who has died for me? Does your bible not tell you that Jesus gave us a new commandment? Why am I struggling with my relationships? The one who died for me has given me the cure and the healing; how can I restore my bad relationship? With love! How am I to repair the things that were said? With love! How am I to get past the anger and pain? With love! What's going to keep me? Love above all!
Who have you had some challenges with recently? I want to encourage you to do as Jesus commanded us: love one another; just as He has loved us! I want you to pray for that relationship!
Colossians 3:14
1 Peter 1:22
Proverbs 10:12
Father, I pray that if I have broken relationships with my brothers or sisters, I will move immediately to repair them. I understand that you loved me before I loved you, and you did it with no excuses, help me to love others the way you love me. Father, I pray that you will help me place my pride aside to restore whatever relationships that are not in proper alignment with your commandment!
In Jesus' name, amen!

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