June 10 I Thursday
2 Chronicles 34-36
“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” —John 15:12
We all have a need to love and be loved. In fact, we were created with this need. When God created the world in six days, He said, “It was good” each day, except the sixth day when He said, “It was very good.” Before the fall happened, there was one thing that God said was “not good.” Genesis 2:18 reveals, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” The reason God said “not good” is because God made human beings as social beings. We were created with a strong desire for social integration to love and be loved. No man is an island.
Some of us reading this devotion may still be single. I did not meet my wife, Hilary, until I was 27. I remember praying when I was 25, “Lord, I am 25, which is getting on. I have not met anybody that I would like to marry, but the thought of staying single all my life is not a pleasant one to me.” I began to pray for my future wife. I did not demand, “Lord, send me a wife.” Instead, I asked God to show me, “How do I pray for this woman, whoever she is?” I never told God, “God, if You don’t want me to marry, that’s fine. I’ll accept it, and be single all my life, if that’s Your will.” I could never say that to God with any enthusiasm. What I did say was, “Please don’t let me marry the wrong person. I hope there’s a right person. If there isn’t a right person, don’t let me marry the wrong person.” That was the nearest I got to saying, “Your will be done if You don’t want me to get married.”
During that time, I was travelling around preaching at evangelistic events and conferences. Almost everywhere I went, people would say, “Have you ever thought about settling down? Why don’t you marry? You’re not a little strange in any way, are you?” Those questions gave me pressure. The person may be single because they renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God, or because they have never met anybody whom they want to marry—we may never know. Some of us reading this devotion may be guilty of inflicting these kinds of pressure on young unmarried people; instead, we should allow God, in His time, to work out His purpose.
Whether we are married or single, may we see others not as a fulfilment of our need to be loved, but ones that God has brought into our lives for us to show His love. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Prayer: Almighty God, I can only love because You loved me first. Help me to love as You have loved me. Thank You, God.