I don’t know if you noticed, but the holidays are on the horizon. I jumped in on an early turkey sale where they sell you the bird for 59 cents a pound. Yes, I went back to frozen after our fresh turkey=rancid turkey disaster last year. I plan to start cooking early so that I’m not quite so deranged the day of the holiday. Of course the pies get made the previous day, maybe there other things that can be done in advance so that I’m not screaming while I dry my hair. Maybe.
Thanksgiving is a day where we take the time to be thankful and to love one another in a deliberate way that involves taking the time to cook and share a beautiful meal. We are especially grateful for our families and the friends we love like family.
I was reading in John 15:12-13
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Here’s my question. How do we increase in our capacity to love well? If we’re going to love others “…as I have loved you,” like Jesus, there is room for a whole lot of improvement. Jesus was making reference to his death when he said, “Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends.” What does that mean for us today? How do I upgrade my capacity to love my family, my friends and also my future friends? How do I hold on to all my pet traditions and still lay down my life?
Here’s what I’ve been thinking lately. I think we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand other people’s perspective. I believe the Holy Spirit can inform our decisions so that there can be greater harmony. This will involve me getting alone with God so that he can right size my own needs. When I get alone with God and absorb what Jesus said in verse 9,“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” I need sit in the reality of his poured out love, consider his sacrifice, and absorb his affection. He bestows his favor on me, and I hand over my defensive, orphaned heart. It doesn’t take long, but it does enable me to have a better perspective.
“I continually live nourished and empowered by his love.” vs.10. The power I need to become a more giving, loving person actually comes to me from my learning to abide in the reality of his love. I am more able to perceive and meet the needs of others in an upgraded way.
Finally, we read in vs.11, “My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness.” If I keep gaze locked on Jesus, I’m able let go of what isn’t important, my pet ideas… or at least I’m better at it than I was. Again, the joy that we experience will fill our hearts with overflowing gladness! So then we can have overflowing joy and gravy boats!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Does your love need an upgrade? Was this helpful? Leave a comment.
2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”