Daily Devotionals

Would You Rather? Week 2 Thursday

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And He has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. 1 John 4:20-21

Some things simply go together. These things include chocolate and peanut butter, salt and pepper, honey and sopapillas, and more. You understand my point. Things that go together reach far beyond delicious food combinations. For example, my sweet little nephew is concerned every time he sees one of his grandparents without the other. His grandparents are meant to be together in his eyes, and seeing one without the other is confusing. Far beyond the food and people we love, Scripture teaches a vital combination that must always go together: loving God and loving people. 

John, one of Jesus’ disciples and closest friends, wrote about the fact that someone who loves God will naturally love people as well. He wrote, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” (1 John 4:20). This verse is such a poignant reminder that loving God and loving people simply go together. If we love God, we will love the people He created. Out of our overflow of love for God, love for people is to pour out of our lives.

As we think about this call to love people, we must understand that there is no qualification for whom we are to love. This means that we are to love all people, those who are easy to love and those who are not. We are to love those who have different political opinions than us. We are to love people who like to argue. We are to love all people because God loves all people.  

If we love God, we will love the people around us too. It is inevitable. As followers of Christ, you and I are to carry the commands from Scripture to love God and to love other people. Love for God overflows to love for the people whom He loves. Are you reflecting His love? Are you demonstrating love for God and for those around you? Let your love for God spill over to love for each and every person around you.

Moving Toward Action

Read from the Going Deeper section below, and reflect on the way Jesus loves in your journal or notebook. What stands out to you about how He loved people while on earth? How can you live your life in a way that models that love to other people around you?

Going Deeper

Read John 13:1-17 (NLT)

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”

Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.