May 01, 2018 || A Devotional
By Rick Warren
I’ve discovered that if people are not on my heart, they’re on my nerves. Heart love begins with understanding why someone feels the way they do. Ask questions and then listen. Hear the hurt, look for the problems, know what makes the person tick. If you care, you’ll be aware.
How do you love people who, even when you do understand them, you find them unlovable? “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:8 NIV) In Greek, the word “affection” is the word for intestines. In Greek society, the Greeks thought that the seat of the emotions was in your internal organs.
Paul was saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling of love for you.” That is not natural. It is supernatural and that’s why Paul said it’s not from himself, but it’s the affection of Christ Jesus. The only kind of love that lasts in spite of heartache and difficulty in tough circumstances is God’s love — the affection of Jesus Christ.
So how do you get this kind of gut love? “God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV) God’s love is not something you work up. It is something that is poured into you by the Holy Spirit as you let Him live in you day-by-day.