Wednesday, September 2

Effective Living: Practice Kindness

Inscribed on the Liberty Bell are these words: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the Land unto all the Inhabitants thereof Lev. XXV X".

The bell and the message from Leviticus were to remind all who heard it ring that liberty was for all and that slavery should be abolished.

It rightly hangs in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

Read: 2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

When we are walking with the Lord and progressing in the 7 Habits of Effective Living, our lives will be marked by a love for others.

This Greek word philadelphia (φιλαδελφία) is made up of two words philos and delphi. Philos is the word for "love among friends". Delphi is a word for "brother". So, philadelphia represents the love shared between brothers and sisters in the Lord. Oh and there is a bell that hangs in a city by that name! Maybe you've seen it?

Effective living will be seen in love shared between Christians. Really, this is the call of Christian living. The Bible says the world will know believers "by their love".

As we learn what the Lord wants from us and as we stay under the load we will begin to see God working wonderfully in our lives. As He is conforming us into His image we will grow in our love for those that call on the name of the Lord. We will have His love for them.

Doesn't it make sense that love is the ultimate goal? Isn't that what the Bible says? The greatest of these is love? Love covers lots of sins? Love is patient? The fruit of the Spirit is love? God is love?

John tells us that how we love one another is a statement of how we love God. In fact, these two are inseparable. We cannot say we love God and not love the believers around us. This is Christian living on the street. This is effective living in action.

I remember the first small group we ever joined. I was anxious and overly critical of those in the room. I was not very loving. Over the course of the next 2 years, I grew to love these folks and they eventually became our best friends. Are you in a small group? Can I STRONGLY suggest you get in and mix it up with other believers? It is so important and a great lab for love!

How is your love for other believers? How critical are you of others? I am sometimes critical of believers that appear inauthentic or cheesy. Those are hard for me to love at times. Same with those that are too into the minutiae of details and miss the big picture. They are hard for me to love at times as well. How about you? Can you identify some folks that God wants you to love?

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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