Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK SEVEN
ORBIT – DAY THIRTY TWO
Hello and welcome to another Orbit, the weekday devotional from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. If you’re just joining us for the first time, Orbit is a daily Bible reading, with some thoughts to help you put it into practice in your life. We hope this is useful – if you like it, please do spread the word!
BIBLE READING: Romans 12: 9-10
A really short reading today, because over the next few days we’re going to be working our way through an amazing passage. Romans 12 is one of the most packed sections of the whole Bible – containing so many helpful ideas about what it means to live as a follower of Jesus. Take some time to read it in full this week if you can.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.
If you were to boil the Christian life down to just one short statement, you might just choose some of the words I’ve just read. Paul says: “Be devoted to one another in love,” and when he writes that, he echoes the words of Jesus when he said that above all else we should love one another. In fact, Jesus went on to say that this – the act of loving each one another and putting each other first – would be the main way that people would recognise that we were his followers.
So what does it really mean to love each other? Poets as diverse as Wordsworth and Harry Styles have tried to answer that question – but Paul gives us a few clues of his own.
First he says that love is sincere – we don’t love people in order to get something back in return, or for any other hidden motive. We love because we follow a God of love, who teaches us to care deeply even for those who don’t seem to deserve it.
Then he says that love is about hating what is evil, and clinging to what is good. Love is rejecting selfishness, unkindness, impatience, jealousy and anger, and instead showing patience, selflessness and joy.
And finally, Paul says that love – this love for each other by which we demonstrate that God is real in our lives – is about putting one another first. Instead of always trying to get what we want, we seek the good and the priorities of our friends, our families and others around us.
Sound easy? Of course not – it’s incredibly hard to live in such a counter-cultural way. Thankfully, we’re not on our own – the Holy Spirit, living in us, helps us to love in the way that God intended. We need the Spirit’s help, every day, if we’re going to be devoted to each other in love. But if we do, just imagine how the world around us could be transformed.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Holy Spirit, come and fill me afresh today. I need your presence and your power in my life, if I’m going to break my programming and follow God’s way of love. Help me to be devoted to my friends, and to everyone around me, and to live in such a way that it demonstrates your love to the world. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
There’s an ancient spiritual practice which monastic communities call ‘submission’ – it’s the spiritual discipline of putting other people first. Today, try to make some decisions which deliberately elevate other people’s priorities above your own. Give up your place in a queue; give away some loose change or invite someone else to choose what movie you watch. Giving up our rights to always come first is a spiritual pursuit – and it’s the way of love.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!