“I LOVE YOU!” – Jesus
Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 20
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
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Key Verse: 1 Samuel 20:3b & 20:17
But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death…And Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
When death stares us in the face, we tend to focus our minds on the most important issues of life. Loving one another becomes a top priority. Jonathan and David understood this. Their affection was demonstrated in commitment, in keeping their promises, and in their willingness to sacrifice their own lives for each other if necessary. Jonathan, although he was heir to the throne, was willing to give up his own rights because of love for David. The story of David and Jonathan provide a picture of Jesus. Jesus, in fulfilling His destiny, loved so much that He was willing to die. As we approach the time of year when we celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus, we may want to read the Gospel stories. John chapters 13 to 17 is the dialogue between Jesus and His loved ones during the Passover meal. Jesus begins by washing the feet of these whom He loved and ends with His prayer for them in these Words, “That the love with which You [the Father] loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” In these chapters the words love, loves, and loved are spoken by Jesus more than 20 times. Jesus then led His loved ones to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He would be betrayed by one of those He loved, Judas. First John 4:19 reads, “We love Him because He first loved us” (click here for 1 John 4:7-21).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, may my heart be filled with Your love, and may that love be expressed in my love for others. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Amen! Amen! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In my prayer time I pray for my immediate family by name, and I name before God many others for whom I’m committed to pray. As a boy, I remember at our family altar hearing this prayer and praying it out loud myself: “I pray for those for whom we should pray.” This would include people whose names we did not mention. I thought at the time that if we should pray for them, why not name them. Then I realized that it’s humanly impossible. However, “With God all things are possible!” There is a 24/7 family altar in Heaven where Jesus leads the prayers and in which we participate every time we pray. He knows every one of us by name. He knows us better than we could ever know ourselves, and He prays for us. He prays, not just a general prayer, but prays for me by my name. “Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). He knows us by our names. I’ve just read John 10:1-16. I don’t have any idea how He does it, but I know that every day I put at least 50 names into His prayer meeting. My Father and Mother are right now in that prayer meeting above. I believe they put my name regularly before God’s Throne of Grace. I desire intensely to love others. One of the primary ways I have found to love others is to take the time to pray for them.
Yours for loving one another,
P.S. Yesterday, Norma-Jean and I attended a Sunday morning service where our son Ron and his wife Ann were preaching together. It was at the New Credit Fellowship Centre on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario. Pastor Ken Sault felt led to honour Norma-Jean and me for our years of TV ministry and the impact it has had on First Nations communities across Canada. He had several of their leaders speak, and then their young people performed a worship “rain dance” as a prayer for God to pour out revival in Canada! (HERE is a short video that Ron shot with his iPhone). They also presented me with a ceremonial eagle feather (see photo below). The Lord gave me the strength to say a few words of encouragement and thanks to these very special people!