Altogether Love December 5-9

The primary attribute of God’s character is love. He demonstrated his love for us by coming to this earth to give Himself for us. God loves us no matter who we are or what we have done. We are called to respond to God’s love by loving God with all our heart and by loving others. An altogether love runs deep. It is not shown out of obligation like an almost love.  It’s the risky kind of love requiring hope, and at times, even seems irrational. Advent invites us to enter into a season of honest reflection and consider what it means to bring our whole selves to God in love and to give ourselves in love for the well-being of others.


Day 1       I John 4:7-12

Reflect: How does this text give meaning to the season of Advent? Why must receiving God’s love for us and responding back to Him in love precede our love for others?

Apply:  What would help you feel fully embraced by God’s altogether love? In this season of your life, how are you being asked to fall in love with God again and again?

Pray:    Loving Father, in and of myself, my love is so limited. I can only love others well with Your love. Pour Your love into my heart so that the love of Jesus streams out from me and blesses those around me. 


Day 2      John 13:1 

Reflect: There is a lot packed into this one verse. Reread each statement, pausing at a comma or period, and consider its message.

Apply:   What statement speaks loudest to you? In your faith journey, what barriers have you encountered that seem to keep you from fully receiving God’s love in Jesus?

Pray:     Father, love is Your very nature. My relationship with You is built on Your great love for me and Your desire to demonstrate Your love to me. Free me from my inhibitions and selfishness that block me from receiving Your love and from loving others as Jesus did. 


Day 3      Philippians 2:5-8  

Reflect: What pictures come to mind based on how Jesus is described? What does this have to do with almost and altogether love? How like Christ is your attitude or mindset?

Apply:   What would change if you moved from an almost to altogether love for God? For your church community? For the world? This Advent, what are some specific ways you can move toward an altogether love?

Pray:      Lord, You are all powerful and yet You emptied Yourself to redeem me. May I be more selfless in my attitude and treatment of others, more like Jesus is with me.


Day 4      1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Reflect: What two types of people are described? What kind of love is Paul defining? With what aspects of this kind of love do you struggle? What does verse 13 mean? 

Apply:   How would growing in this altogether love change how you serve? What are some ways you can make sure to love your family well this holiday season? 

Pray:     Jesus, fill me with Your Spirit to love as You love. Thank You that it’s not all up to me. Equip me to face each day with the power of Your love, forgiveness, and grace.


Day 5      John 15:12-17

Reflect: Describe the kind of love Jesus is commanding us to show. How does it play out in our lives? What kind of fruit does He want to see in us? How does love impact our prayers?

Apply:   How do you feel about Jesus commanding you to love others? Ponder this—if your love from God and for God grew deeper, how and why would it impact your love for others? 

Pray:     Love one another. Jesus, how is this descriptive of my life? You did not await my love but initiated our relationship. As I become more aware that I am infinitely loved, empower me to share Your love with people who need it. 


Put It Into Practice 

Week 3: Ask God to reveal to you the barriers that keep you from receiving His unconditional love and also extending it to others. Do you feel unworthy of it? Do you have shame from your past, unconfessed sin in the present, or feel you haven’t earned His love? Let Him tell you the truth about how much He loves you—no matter what.