21-Day Growth Challenge | Day 19: "Love in Four Directions"

Thursday, January 21, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Key Verse

John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

God is love. This makes love as big and as multifaceted as God Himself. We live in a world where the concept of love is distorted by selfish motivations, lust, and insincerity. Jesus Christ is the genuine embodiment of God's love. He is the "gold standard" and reference. Love is active, not passive. Love takes action, not only has emotions. Love moves forward, never standing still.

Love moves in at least four directions:

1. Upward: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:38).
Loving God is the most important reality and action in life. When we live by that standard of loving God first, it's like having a compass that always shows which way is North, by which we can always determine East, West and South. People who are confused and misdirected need know that one cannot find his own way, without first finding "True North" in God's love.

2. Inward: "Love your neighbor as your self" (Matthew 22:39).
Too many people hate themselves. This may be the result of poor child training or coming from bad experiences in life. We are all "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psa. 139:13) by God, meaning that we all have eternal value. When we see value in ourselves, we will also see it in others.

3. Outward: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matthew 28:19).
God's love helps us understand that we are on a mission in this world. Love creates a desire within us to share Christ, and God's love, with others. We are motivated to personally help other people develop and strong love-relationship with God.

4. Forward: "Teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you..." (Matthew 28:20).
The Forward direction of love centers on developing followers of Christ to be disciple-making disciples. Not only do with make disciples, we make disciples who make disciples. Love doesn't stop with the persons in front of me. God's love has a generational, forward-looking viewpoint.

Thank God for filling you with His love. Ask Him to help you exercise love in four directions. Remember that the Holy Spirit empowers us to walk in love (Rom. 5:5-8)