Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 04-08-24

Friends, as followers of Jesus, you and I are called to live in His likeness. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual eyes to see others like Jesus sees them, spiritual ears to hear what Jesus needs us to hear and soften our hearts to receive the heart of Jesus so we can love others like He loves them.

Matthew (25) reminds us in “The Final Judgment” that when Jesus returns, He will separate the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left hand. Those on His right will enter His Kingdom as they will have loved God’s Family like Jesus loved them; while He will curse the ones on His left for when they did not love the least of God’s children, they were not loving Jesus. Friends, this is a message for the Church and about God’s Family. You and I will be separated as sheep and goats. This is not about all believers being sheep and all unbelievers being goats, no, this is about how you and I treat one another as believers, and as a part of God’s Family.

John reminds us in today’s passage that we are commanded to love one another within our spiritual Family within God’s Church. It seems simple, but I want you to be completely honest with yourself when you answer these questions: Do you love all of your spiritual brothers and sisters in the same way Jesus loves them? Do you take a humble posture in your relationships with your spiritual brothers and sisters? If you are looking back at Matthew 25, do you feed the hungry, give something to drink to the thirsty, show hospitality to a stranger, cloth the naked, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned? Friends, we must remember that when we judge another believer, we are judging Jesus. John uses the word “hate”, and you might be thinking, well, I don’t hate anyone, so I will be fine during the Final Judgement. Remember, our call to love our brothers and sisters is to love them like Jesus loves them, not simple to just not hate them. One of the Greek translations of the word hate is to think against someone. If we are being completely honest, we have all had thoughts against others within the spiritual Family. So, we really need to be asking the Holy Spirit to change our hearts to be more and more in alignment with the heart of Jesus, so that we are living in His Light, in His likeness, and loving as He calls us, His sheep, to love His other sheep.

1 John 2:7-11 (NLT)
A New Commandment

7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8 Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for setting the example of how we are to love one another. Help us, Holy Spirit, to be convicted when we are not loving our brothers and sisters as You call us to love them. Guide our souls and hearts to be more like Jesus. Help us with our spiritual blindness, deafness, and hard human hearts. We want to be Your sheep that follow Your voice. May You guide us today to love like You love, help our hearts feel Your limitless love for Your Family. We ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

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