AT THE SPEED OF LOVE - December 14, 2022
Wednesday, December 14th
Advent Devotional #18 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton
At the Speed of Love
To read today: 1 John 3:16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16
Are we human beings or human doings? That’s a great question. But unfortunately, we tend to swing from one philosophy to the other today.
We live in a “hustle” culture. You see it in the messaging on social media, in commercials, and on the newsstand, “Get More Done in Less Time.” But, on the other hand, we live in a “hold on, slow it down, what’s the big rush?” society. It is the “be present and mindful” effect popularized in so many books today. Which is right? Let’s look to Jesus.
Our Savior embodied God’s Word coming to life and dwelling among us. It is easy to say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Being present in the season is one thing. However, giving a gift, lending a hand, or serving someone this holiday is another thing.
Most people are familiar with John 3:16. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for us. Many of us need to learn the connection John 3:16 has with 1 John 3:16. If John 3:16 is about what Jesus has done for us, 1 John 3:16 is what we should do for others because of what Jesus has done for us.
It is both being and doing at Christmas that reflects the heart of Jesus. We love Jesus (being in a relationship with him) and live for Jesus (serving Him because we love him). It is not either or, but both and.
God did not make an unfulfilled promise with empty words. Instead, God came through on what he promised to do. John’s words to us reflect that sentiment. To know Jesus is to know what love is. To show Jesus is to show love to others. It takes “living at the speed of love” to make that happen.
We know the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. But do you know how fast the “speed of love” is? Living at the “speed of love” is the time it takes to extend a single act of love to someone. How long does it take to write a note of encouragement? How long does it take to bake a plate of cookies? How long does it take to send a text, wrap a gift, or babysit for a friend? That is the “speed of love.”
Jesus showed the love of the Father by giving his life for us. You can show the love of Jesus in a million little ways. One of the best places to start is to consider what would encourage your heart today. What would you love to receive from someone? Do that for someone else. Do you need a hug, a call, or a word of encouragement? Would you appreciate a gift or a meal? Do that for someone else. Instead of waiting for a Christmas miracle in your life, be the Christmas miracle for someone else.
Look for a way to bless another person. Go so far as to do a random act of kindness and show love for someone who never expects you to do so.
Today: What small, random act of Christmas kindness can you show someone? What can you do to live at the “speed of love” and bless another person?