For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14
I remember taking a class one semester that was a study of books. Some of the books we had to read were really complicated. There were times when I was reading, and I just didn’t really understand the plot of the book. I wasn’t trying to cheat or anything, but I just didn’t get what the book was about. So sometimes, I’d begin to do a Google search. I’d look for a summary of the chapter or the book to help me understand what I was reading.
I wasn’t trying to get out of reading the book, but the summary simply helped me better understand the material. In the same way, today’s verse tells us it’s like a summary of the law in the Old Testament. And just like the summaries I found online, this summary makes it easier to understand. When we love others, we are fulfilling the law.
So for example, we wouldn’t steal from ourselves. That would be really silly. In the same way, we wouldn’t murder ourselves. Usually, we are always looking out for our own best interests. However, this verse shows us that we should be treating other people like we treat ourselves. Loving people like this is hard work. It will take some retraining of old habits, but it’s the goal God encourages us to strive for.
If you struggle with loving others, don’t feel bad, we all do from time to time. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Maybe He can give you an idea for an area you can improve or show you a simple way that you can begin to love others more. Determine to let today’s verse not just be an empty suggestion, but rather the way you choose to live your life each day.
Do you ever question God’s love for you? Do you ever wonder if He really cares? Perhaps you think, God has so many people to be concerned about, does He really have time to help me with my math class that I’m struggling in? It’s easy to think that perhaps God is too busy for you. Or maybe because you’ve messed up, or not been the perfect Christian, He will skip over you and go to someone else that seems more “worthy”.
Here’s the truth. God loves you. He cares about you, and thankfully that love and care has absolutely nothing to do with how good you are. Not that you shouldn’t try to be good, of course, you should be living your life to please Jesus. But His care for you is totally separate from your performance.
He cares for you and sees you through Jesus. It’s the perfection of Jesus that God sees when He looks at us. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve been perfect, it doesn’t matter if you’ve made all the right choices. What matters is that what Jesus did was enough. And God said it was.
Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! 16 So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved grace, and we will find help. – Hebrews 4:15-16 (CEV)
That’s good news for you. That means that God hears you. He sees you, He feels your pain and understands it completely. So know that you are loved much more than you can ever know or imagine. You are so important to God and His plan on the earth.
Today’s Truth: God Knows What You’re Going Through and He Cares About You.
Regardless of the things you’re going through and how difficult they might feel, don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t care. He’s there and He’s walking with you through it one day at a time.
“God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it! – John 3:17 (TPT)
The gospel is good news. Jesus wasn’t sent to condemn you. He came to rescue you. That means you have value to God. To God, it doesn’t matter the sin you’ve committed, your upbringing, or social status. God loves you and sent His son to be your savior.
Don’t allow yourself to believe the lie that you don’t matter. God sees you as important and your life has a purpose. In the midst of all of the challenges of life, keep your focus on Jesus. Let His value and opinion of you be the one that counts.
Jesus came to rescue you. So today choose to see the value he sees in you and in others. Know that you are vital to God’s plan on the earth!
Today’s Truth: You are vital to God’s Plan on Earth.
I remember there were some years that I connected with a teacher more than others. When I had a teacher I really enjoyed, it made learning more interesting to me.
In the same way, reading the Bible is more interesting when we know God. When we’ve taken time out of the busyness of life to spend time with Him, it makes a difference. When you know someone and enjoy them, you get more out of what they teach you, just like when you connect with a teacher, it helps you enjoy their class more.
That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. – 2 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
In today’s verse, we see that Paul knew whom he believed. Not only did he believe, but he knew the person he believed. This speaks of Paul’s relationship with God. It wasn’t just a stale and dry relationship. Instead, because Paul enjoyed spending time with God, He knew God in a deep and fresh way.
Paul loved God, and knew God. Knowing God in a deep way makes life more fun and interesting. So today, take time to get to know God. Don’t just know about Him, rather get to know Him. Do whatever it takes to have a real, deep intimate relationship with Him.
Can you remember back to your first day of class? That was probably a long time ago. But a lot of the time, on your first day of class, you get some sort of a syllabus. That document helps you know what’s expected of you for the class, and also when many of the major assignments are due.
When it comes to the things of God, we have a document too. It’s the Bible. And in it we can see ways that God wants us to live our lives and learn many great things.
One of the things that we see taught in the Bible is relationship with God. Over and over again, we see verses that speak of spending time with God. We see people who spent time in prayer and God’s Prescence. Often, we can see that when a culture or person reads the Bible or scriptures, they are wise, and prosperous.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. – John 15:7
In today’s verse, we see that it talks about remaining in God. When we remain in His Prescence, we learn about Him. We learn who He is. And in those times we spend with Him, we begin to see God’s nature and character.
So no matter how busy you get, no matter how successful you are, life is really meant to be spent remaining in God. So determine to get to know Him. Determine to know who He is and what He has for you. As you do, you’ll find purpose, meaning and contentment in Him.
Today’s Truth: It’s all about spending time with God.
We all understand that good diet help us to become physically strong. Most of us wouldn’t consider not eating every day because we feel so weak when we don’t eat and can’t perform very well. And then we understand that if we don’t exercise we just get fat and muscles get flabby.
In the same way- you are more than just a body and a mind. You also have a spirit to feed- and it eats God’s Word. It too needs to be fed daily to be strong. But simply reading God’s Word isn’t enough to be strong either.
You exercise your spirit as you pray and obey the things the Word of God says to do. For example forgiving others who hurt you or loving and praying.
1Timothy 4:8 in The Message Bible states “Exercise daily in God- no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”
A disciplined spiritual life feeds on God’s Word then exercises what it hears. The rewards for working out in a gym are a toned body. The rewards of godly living are both in this life and in the life to come. God always rewards when we come to Him. The rewards can be direction or wisdom or peace or joy. When you are spiritually in shape, you will draw people to Jesus. And that is definitely an eternal reward!
But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ – Matthew 4:4
I love food. There are very few reasons that I miss a meal. When I do, I get really grumpy and angry. And, I’d guess that most of us put a high priority on eating. We make sure that we eat several times a day, hit those snacks between classes, and maybe even eat some junk food before bed. Eating is a big part of our lives. If we didn’t eat, we’d be grumpy, lack energy, and just be no fun to be around.
In today’s Bible verse, it compares natural food, or bread to spiritual food. It tells us that we shouldn’t just live to eat, but rather we should live to spend time with God. It shows us that our time with God should be a priority in our lives. Just like we wouldn’t go too long without eating, we shouldn’t go long without spending time with God.
Today’s Truth: Don’t go too long without spending time with God.
If you’ve noticed that it’s been awhile since you spent some time in the Bible, challenge yourself today to take more time to spend with God. You can let the Bible App read it to you while you do your homework, or first thing when you get up in the morning. You could get your copy of the Bible out and read in before bed. Whatever seems to work best for you. The goal is to simply make spending time with God a priority in your life today!
In today’s world, you’re told you can be anything you want to be. You can do anything you want to do. You can say anything you want to say. But in the light of God’s word, is that really true?
God’s word says that you were bought with a price. We see from scripture that the life you now live is no longer yours. So when it comes to being whoever you want to be, or following your own dreams and goals, know this, your life as a Christian isn’t only yours. You’re living for Jesus.
you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)
Knowing that we’re bought should empower us to live for God. In light of what Jesus has done for us, we should want to honor God. We should be desiring to honor God with our decisions, with our bodies, and with all our decisions.
So remember to get God involved in your decisions. When you don’t know who you are or what the future holds, know that your identity is found in God. When you get to know Him and honor Him, that’s where you’ll find your greatest fulfillment.
Today’s Truth: Your identity is found in honoring God.
Imagine this: You’re working at your first job. You’re so excited to start making money. The problem is, for some reason your boss seems to hate everything you do. No matter how hard you try, nothing you do ever seems right. It even seems like you might get fired. What do you do? How do you deal with someone who doesn’t seem to like you at all?
When someone doesn’t like you, it can begin to make you feel bad about yourself, can’t it? Sometimes, you begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you.
But here’s the truth. The truth is, not everyone is going to understand you. Not everyone is going to see your giftings, talents and strengths.
The question you have to ask yourself is where do I find my worth? Who am I living my life for?
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; – Philippians 3:10 (NAS)
If you’re living your life to please people, or to succeed by things you achieve, you’ll always be disappointed. Instead, take a moment and think about who it is you’re living your life for. Is it to please God? Is it to know God?
Success in life really comes down to knowing God. So regardless of how people treat you, regardless of whether you succeed at everything you do, or not, make sure that you have space in your life for knowing God. When you reach the end of your life, nothing will matter except whether you knew God. So make time for Him today.
Imagine this: You’re out for the school band. You’ve practiced your instrument, tried your hardest, and now it’s the moment of truth. Will you be chosen for an honor band? Let’s say that you’re pretty sure you’ll make it. And so you feel confident that nothing is going to keep you from being chosen.
The results are out. You go check the paper on the wall in the band room, and guess what….you didn’t get it. You can’t believe it. All that practice feels like was worthless. What do you do now?
You’ve probably faced a similar situation to this. What do you do when you put so much effort and energy into something, only to find out that it was for nothing? It’s easy to begin to get down on yourself and question your worth.
One thing to remember in situations like these is that your worth is not based in your achievements. Whether you do great at band, or you’re the worst player in the history of all instrument playing, it doesn’t matter. Why?
Because worrying about living your life for yourself, and to make yourself feel good isn’t the point of life. The point of life as Christians should be knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him. He should be where you find purpose and identity. So if you struggle with feeling not that good about yourself or your achievements, ask yourself who you’re living your life for? Is it for God and pleasing Him or is it to win awards, achievements and acknowledgement from others.
and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
When you come to the end of your life, it won’t matter what awards you won, what bands you made or didn’t make. What will matter is what you did with Jesus and if you spent your life in pursuit of Him.