February 15, 2021

#LoveShelby 1

A different kind of love
by Katie Graves

I hate to brag but I’m pretty good at loving others!

Especially those I love.
And with those I feel deserve it. And especially those that have
loved me well. And those who deserve it. And those whom I feel
have been treated unjustly and been dealt a raw hand in life.

And especially those I feel deserve it. (Did I mention that?)

I’m not proud of this character flaw.
It’s something I am constantly aware of and battle.

I am someone who likes justice and fairness.
Sounds noble enough, don’t you think? Especially in today’s world.

The problem is that this is nothing like the love I have been shown.
Or the love I am asked to show others. Ugh!

I’m a ‘feeling’ girl to a fault. I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of my
life, even at 48 years old, is lived based on my feelings. I don’t have
to tell you that this causes major problems. At best, we humans
are finicky. Fickle. And quite frankly, our hearts and feelings simply
can’t be trusted most of the time.

As I read God’s Word, we are clearly instructed to love others not
based on our feelings or in the way they deserve. BUT as He has
loved us. His love for us is:
Unfailing (Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 107:8, Psalm 130:7)
Sacrificial (John 15:13, Romans 5:8, John 10:11)
Steadfast (Psalm 86:15, Lamentations 3:22-23)

And most importantly, He loves us FIRST.
Before we deserve it. Before we love Him well.
• We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
• But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we
were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Let’s remember this is not something we can do in our own
strength. And it sure isn’t something we will feel like doing most
of the time. It will most likely be sacrificial, requiring our time or
money. And maybe even our comfort. Frankly, showing love can
be uncomfortable and inconvenient.

But today, this week and in the coming days let’s practice loving
others like this, okay? Let’s ask God to cultivate this love in our
hearts and in turn emulate this love toward our neighbor. I would
venture to say your neighbor needs it. I need it. You need it. We
ALL need it. Yes?

So church family, let’s go out and LOVE SHELBY!!!

We can do this, you and I!
HE said so. And He gave us His very Spirit to do it through us!
Not for ourselves; but all for HIS glory.

God, may we choose to love others simply because You first
loved us. You said it would, perhaps, be the most compelling
evidence to point others to You! Amen.