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Leaning on Jesus

by | Jun 15, 2022 | Grace, Love

[Jesus said] “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are One, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know You, I know You, and these know that You have sent Me. I made known to them Your Name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

(John 17:20-26 ESV)

What do you do with a fellow Christian you absolutely can’t stand?

I know that I am supposed to show love to them, but it’s so difficult! How in the world can I love that person? They do this or that terrible thing—they hold such awful opinions—their voice grates on me; their behavior is obnoxious. Christian or not, I can’t stand them. How can I be “one” with somebody who makes me want to run away the minute I lay eyes on them?

When this situation happens to me, I think back to Jesus’ prayer here when He is asking the Father to help us. Jesus knows perfectly well that living together in love is not our natural state. It doesn’t come easily to us. In fact, the only way it’s possible at all is if the Holy Spirit is living in us, living the life of Jesus through us. On our own power, we will get nowhere. We will have to lean on Him.

So when this happens to me, I ask the Holy Spirit to help me. And then I remember that—hard as it is to imagine—Jesus loves this person just as much as He loves me. This person is someone for whom He suffered and died—yes, and rose again. Jesus wants me to treat this person with love. It makes Him happy. And I love Jesus. I would do worse things than this for someone that I love!

It is really not an easy thing to do. But when Jesus Himself lives inside us, we can hand the steering wheel over to Him. We can say, “Lord, I can’t do it. Please love this person through me.” And He will. If He could handle suffering and dying and rising again, all to save the lot of us—every human being, obnoxious as we are—He can certainly help us learn to care for one another. He still does miracles!

We Pray: Dear Lord, You have loved me. Now please love others through me, including the ones that are so hard for me. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on May 26, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved

Reflection Questions:
1. Do you have someone you have trouble loving? Don’t name names!
2. How has God helped you to deal with that person?
3. When have you felt unlovable and God used someone else to care for you?

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