Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind"1 (Lyrics)
During this time of social distancing, of staying at home, and of home schooling, I've been watching all kinds of suggestions on social media as to how to keep children entertained at home, while maintaining their education. Many of the ideas are just hilarious, but I'm sure that in reality, there have been many confrontations, warnings, and tears as families struggle to keep some kind of normalcy while living in close quarters. There have also been many stories of the riches of rediscovering family unity and togetherness.
I imagine that some parents are frustrated and are at their wits' end when they see their children quarrelling, even bursting out in hateful acts and words to each other.
How does God feel then, when He sees His children quarrel and bicker among themselves? The apostle John's counsel is very timely in these days.
1 John 5:1-2 – Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. (ESV)
John's emphasis is always on love, but we mustn't think that anyone can achieve salvation just by loving others. We are saved when we accept the Lordship of Jesus and His saving work for us. Having this salvation, we love God because we are in His family now, and we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, too. If we are more in love with our own church denomination, our place in society, our own race, our political affiliation, or our theological beliefs than with God's family, then where is that passionate love for God's children?
That wonderful, true spirit of family comes first with our own fellowship with God. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. Let's build up our own personal faith with daily reading of His Word and daily renewing of the Holy Spirit, with prayer. Only then will we enjoy family unity and renewal in our homes and our churches.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, like mighty rushing wind upon the waves beneath, move with one impulse every mind; one soul, one feeling breathe. The young, the old inspire with wisdom from above; and give us hearts and tongues of fire, to pray, and praise, and love. (James Montgomery, 1771-1854). Give us hearts of love to You, O Lord, so that we may love and cherish our brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.