The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, September 5, 2023, was written by Valerie Ronald of Manitoba, Canada.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:12-16 NRSV
Clad in his favorite work gloves, my husband's strong hands have dug gardens, shoveled snow, and fixed cars. The worn leather gloves are permanently curved in the shape of his hands. But when they are laid aside on the shelf, no matter how much they resemble my husband's hands, the gloves are lifeless.
Like a glove molds to a hand, my soul is shaped by the light of Christ within it. This is what I desire, but sometimes I get distracted by my own agenda. I draw near to God by focusing on scripture and listening prayerfully. God's power restores my spirit and works through me to accomplish that which I cannot do on my own.
It takes time to break in a new pair of gloves, yet with use the leather gradually forms to the hand's unique shape. When our soul is formed to the shape of our indwelling Savior, we can work toward God's purpose for our life. It is a close, loving partnership.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Who have been the people that have shaped and molded you? The people whose imprint upon your heart and mind is still very apparent? Valerie's reflection reminds us, that as people of faith, we are constantly and consistently shaped by God. I invite you to reread Valerie's reflection, asking yourself: How will I show God's influence in my life with my decisions and actions today?
Dear Lord, strengthen us by your Spirit so that we can fulfill the purposes you have for us. Amen.