November 23 - No Masks Allowed


By Margaret Mills

Today's Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22

Central Thought: God's children must love one another sincerely.

    Unscrupulous early Roman merchants would fill a crack in an earthenware or porcelain jar with melted wax colored to match, and set it out for sale. Savvy buyers learned to put the jar in the sun before buying so any wax would melt, revealing cracks. Honest merchants marked their jars 'sincerus,” Latin for 'without wax.” From this we get our word, 'sincere.” Real love is what it appears to be, unfeigned and without hypocrisy. We are not to cover our real feelings with a mask of love, but to love one another—for real.

    Thinking of the difficult people one encounters—or lives with—how is this possible? We are not to act, put on a mask, or feign a love we do not feel in our hearts. And yet, we cannot 'manufacture” love; we cannot stir up feelings that do not exist. The key is to understand that love is a verb, not an emotion. We walk in obedience to the command when we make a choice to love one another and draw on the Holy Spirit to supply His perception and insight, as well as His own agape love for that person.

    A believer's love is to be the 'real deal.”

Devotional Prayer: Lord, give us a sincere heart of love toward all those we encounter today.

Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 45:13-46:24; 1 Peter 1:13-2:10; Psalm 119:33-48; Proverbs 28:11