Let the Love Flow Out – Today’s Youth Devotion

Let the Love Flow Out

Bible Reading: 1 John 3:14-17

If anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help-how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 2:17

SO YOU’RE supposed to love everybody just like God does. That’s the second part of the great commandment to love God and love people (see Matthew 22:37-40). But it’s impossible to love everybody in the world, so the Bible gives you priorities for loving your neighbors-those nearest you. Your inner circle is your family-parents, siblings, other extended family members. But our world holds so many more people. After family, where do you start?

The next circle of love is your fellow believers in need. Paul urged, “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters” (Galatians 6:10, emphasis added). Outside the circle of your family, your first concern should be the group of believers you learn, serve, fellow­ship, and worship with-people like your campus Bible study group, your Sunday school class, your youth group, and your ministers and church congregation. An­other level might include believers you don’t know as well-such as missionaries, de­nomination leaders, and outreach organizations. At the outer edge of this category are Christians you don’t know and will likely never meet-believers in other churches, cities, and countries.

Loving each other like Christ commanded is the heartbeat of your relationship with other Christians. But sometimes Christians put too much emphasis on love within the body of Christ. It’s pretty easy to love each other. The real test comes in loving those who aren’t much like you-worldly people, unlovely people, hateful people. You might spend so much time with other Christians that you don’t leave much time for interacting with your unbelieving classmates and neighbors.

Beyond the circles of family and faith lie “all people” you are to love as you love yourself. This huge category ranges from your literal neighbors-the people next door-to your entire student body to remote tribes you can’t even name. Whoever and wherever they are, you get to love them.

Like a pebble tossed into a pond, the big splash of your love will be at the center, to those nearest you-family and fellow believers. But a wave ripples outward to needy unbelievers all around you. Does your love for others spread through all levels of your relationships? Or are you so involved at one level that you don’t have time for the rest?

REFLECT: How could you let God’s Spirit show you where your love for others needs to flow more freely?

PRAY: Talk to God about how you can spread his love to every person you have contact with.