1 John 4:7-12 (NRSV)

7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Romans 13:10 (NRSV)

10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.                            

DEVOTION – Hayes Mizell (South Carolina)

My wife and I were enjoying a beautiful day at the lake home when we received a heartbreaking telephone call from daughter.  The previous evening, she said, our 17-year-old grandson had been the fatal victim of a robbery.  We had recently attended high school graduation, and he planned to enter college in the fall.  He was a handsome, loving and talented young man.  Now, suddenly, he was gone.

In shock, I looked out at the sparkling lake, beautiful trees and green foliage around our home.  To me this scene represented the peace that God intends for us.  The senseless murder of our grandson was not part of God’s plan. What, I wondered, led the killers to tear a hole in the glory of God’s world?  The only answer that came to me was that evil had taken root in their lives because love was not there to crowd it out.

Many people who commit crimes against their neighbors have not experienced God’s love through their interactions with others.  Much of the violence in life can be prevented if we Christians extend love to all people.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How can I use my gifts to share God’s love with children and youth in need?

PRAYER: Gracious God, grant us courage to reach out with love to those who do not know you.  Amen