January 21, Saturday

christineliThe AMI QT devotionals for January 21-2 are provided by Christine Li.  Christine graduated from University of Pennsylvania and currently lives and works in New York City.  She attends Remnant Church in Manhattan.

P. Ryun’s series will continue on Monday.

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT FOR TODAY

Cleaning the Lenses of Our Hearts

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs

John 13:35

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.

21Every so often, I need to be reminded to clean my glasses. I frequently forget to do this, because it seems unnecessary— my glasses don’t look dirty. However, every time I wipe down the lenses, seeing becomes a whole new experience. I realize that over time, the small and steady accumulation of dust and dirt slowly built up and made everything unclear.

Imagine if I never cleaned my glasses but allowed dirt, dust, mud, splashes of food, etc., to cake onto my glasses. Not only would this be incredibly unhygienic, but I’d also never be able to see anything properly. There would always be something obstructing my line of vision, or everything would be colored wrongly.

This is the kind of consequence I imagine for when we are unloving – particularly when we keep records of wrongs for each other. If we do not keep our lenses clean, so to speak, when we look at the people around us, we will be clouded by residue from unhappy reminders of the past: unkind words, disappointments, hurt feelings, etc. Because our registry of people is tinged with something negative, our desire to love each other will also be hindered.

One of Jesus’s commands is for us to love each other in a supernatural way. Let’s consider whether we truly apply ourselves to this work. Do others know that we are Christ’s disciples because we merely profess to be so, or are we distinguished by the way we treat others around us? Is there something special about the way we forgive, restore, and serve others? Do we perceive others as blameless and beloved sons and daughters of God, or do we use our grievances to paint a different opinion of them?

I am not suggesting that forgiveness and reconciliation are simple tasks. But thankfully, we know that they are not impossible, for we have a God who has succeeded in modeling this love for us. Through His sacrifice, He equips us each day to do the same. In 2017, may our churches seek to be filled with the kind of loving witness that God desires us to have. Let’s keep asking Him to fill us with His power to refresh our hearts and eyes for one another.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the love You have demonstrated for us. Teach us to be people who truly love with Your love. Won’t You remind us that we are new creations along with our brothers and sisters each day? Give us eyes to see what You see in others, and please equip us to love one another, not with the capacity of our hearts, but with Yours.

Bible Reading for Today: 2 Kings 22-23

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