September 17, Saturday

Editor’s Note: Today’s AMI QT Devotional is provided by Jasmin Izumikawa who attends the Church of Southland.

Devotional Thought for Today

John 15:9-15:

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

“Abide in my love.”

17When summer was in full glory and my garden was in full bloom, I had tomatoes dripping off the vines and enough basil to make buckets of fresh pesto; however, I wasn’t satisfied until the day I placed a birdbath in the garden. This element completed the garden dream that I had so longed for. In no time at all, there were fluttering of wings, the sound of twittering and splashing, and birds of all shapes, sizes and color bathing and drinking water. Who knew that such a simple thing as this could bring so much joy to me and my family?

When Jesus said, “Abide in my love . . . keep my commandments . . . that my joy may be in you,” I can imagine how His joy would overflow when we would draw near to Him and to one another. The quality of this joy would be fulfilling, restoring, and satisfying, always brimming freshly for us.

Loving others is not always easy to do; it means sacrificing our time, energy, and resources when we show love to others. The amazing part is that we don’t walk away empty-handed. There is a promise in this verse: “that my joy may be in you.” We are promised joy–abundant joy, “joy in full” when we love others. While it may feel like a huge sacrifice to set aside our own worries and frustrations in order to comfort someone else, or to humble ourselves and ask someone for forgiveness, or to offer our time, energy, and resources to others, the LORD delights in the moments that we show love and sacrifice to one another because God is love.

Let’s refresh ourselves with new joy again and seek opportunities to love those who are difficult to love and show kindness to at the moment.

Prayer:  LORD, thank you for showing us how to love You and how to love others. I want the joy You speak of so desperately. Help me to genuinely love the people You placed in my life. I want to abide in Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Corinthians 4-5

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