Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Please read 1 Thessalonians 4: 9 - 12
There is a Christian hymn written in the 1960s entitled, They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love. The hymn originated in a phrase that non-believers used to describe the early Christians, “Behold how they love one another.” This passage calls all Jesus’ followers to love one another in the church. In fact, love is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit that the Holy Spirit will cultivate in followers of Jesus. This type of love is a deep sacrificial love and is to be shared with other followers of Jesus as well as non-Christians. I believe that God still wants us to love those in the church and in the community so that people still say, “Behold how they love each other.”
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
In the text the people were known for their love. What are you known for? What do you want to be known for?
What would it look like for a community of believers to love one another radically? How would such radical love be evidenced to the larger community? Would such a community be attractive to those who do not know Jesus?
What is one step that you can take to help your community be more loving?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, you first loved us and so we are called to love one another. However, loving people sacrificially is difficult for us. We often want what we want and we can be selfish. By the power of the Holy Spirit I ask that you help me to become more loving to those in the community and beyond. Amen.