deployment devotional, military devotional, military couples devotional, military couples

A devotional to help military families stay connected during deployments

Day 19: During Deployment “Love is Impossible”

Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. — 1 John 4:7

I know that traditionally 1 Corinthians 13 is the “love chapter,” but my favorite Bible teaching on love is really 1 John 4. It is in 1 John 4 that we go past what love is and how it behaves—and go right to the source of all love, God Himself. It is in this chapter that we find such beautifully rich verses as, “God is love” (vs. 16) and “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (vs. 11) and “We love because He first loved us” (vs. 19) and “This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (vs. 9) So if those verses are true, and they are, then where do we get the statement “love is impossible?”

The truth is that things which are impossible with man—to love unconditionally—are possible with God. In your own power you can demonstrate kindnesses and unselfishness, and you may actually have grown in thoughtfulness and consideration during the last 18 days. But to love like God loves takes . . . . God. Jesus said in Mark 10:27: “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” He was speaking about the power to save us from our sin and give us eternal life with Him, and only God has that kind of power . . . . that kind of powerful love.

In chapter 19 of The Love Dare we read, “And only those who have allowed Him (God) into their heart through faith in His Son, Jesus—only those who have received the Spirit of Christ through belief in His death and resurrection—are able to tap into love’s real power. ‘Apart from Me,’ Jesus said, ‘you can do nothing.’” (John 15:5) (p. 92)

So if you have found yourself struggling with these dares each day, perhaps the reason is that you can’t give (unconditional love) what you don’t have. “In the same way that you can’t give away a million dollars if you don’t have it to start with, you cannot pay out love in greater measure than you own. You can try, but you will fail.” (p. 92) Today—choose to give your life to God’s Son, Jesus Christ, so that He can love you, and in turn your spouse through you. There are no guarantees of tomorrow . . . . in the military we know that well.

If you have never given your heart, your life, to Christ—turn over all control and pray, “Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.” (p. 10 of Four Spiritual Laws) There . . . now you are free to love like 1 John 4 describes. The Apostle John also wrote that famous verse (John 3:16) in his gospel, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Eternal life . . . guaranteed . . . with Him. That’s peace! That’s love!

Here is today’s dare during deployment: Go back over each of the dares for the last 18 days. Were there any which seemed absolutely impossible for you? Do you need God to change your heart in order to give you the ability to love? Settle this matter today. It’s a matter of life and death.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus as recorded in John 11:25

Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:

Apart from Me you can do nothing. — John 15:5b

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Paul in his letter to the Ephesians 3:17b-19

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. — Romans 5:5

Works cited:

Bright, Bill, Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws? (Peachtree City: New Life Publications, 1965)

Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)