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Driftless Daily Reflections

Week of November 16-20

Monday, November 16, 2020: Branding
Daily reading: Leviticus 19:18; John 15:12-17

Branding is a big deal in the business world. You can probably recall the logo of Target, Best Buy, or Honda.
Most people would be able to identify the company represented by that logo. So, what’s the brand identity of
Christianity? What’s our logo? Some might say that it’s the cross, but at least in our culture every gangster with
bling and every rock star wears a cross. Wearing a cross no longer accurately identifies us to the world. Others
might say it’s a fish, but have you seen the way some people with fish symbols on their cars drive? John would
say that our logo, our brand identity as individuals and as a “corporate culture,” is love. In your life, would
people be able to identify your “brand” as love? In your prayers, ask God to reveal new ways for you to walk in
the way of love.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020: Motivation
Daily reading: Micah 6:8; Isaiah 29:13-14

Isn’t it interesting that we’re told to “do justice,” but we’re not just told to “be kind”? We’re commanded to love
kindness. Why is that? Why is God so interested in our loving kindness? God seems to care more about our
hearts than our hands. God doesn’t seem terribly interested in obedience for obedience’s sake. God doesn’t
want us to worship each week to just check it off our list and think we’re good to go. That kind of worship
doesn’t honor God. That kind of worship is motivated by guilt or fear. Instead, God desires worship that comes
from love and gratitude for who God is and what God has done for us. What motivates your worship? Ask God
to empower you to worship with deeper gratitude and love.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020: Love
Daily reading: Psalm 31:23-24; I John 4:7-12

John seems to be saying that the identifying mark of true believers is love. In this passage, John makes the
following affirmations. First, love comes from God; God is the source of real love. Second, everyone who loves
is “born of God and knows God.” If you don’t love others in the Christian community, you don’t know God
because God is love. Third, the kind of love that John is referring to – the kind of love that we are called to live
out – is the same love that God demonstrates through the cross of Christ. In your life, are there people who
bear the identifying mark of a true believer? Do you bear this mark, as well? In your prayers, ask God to help
you live in greater love for God and for others.

Thursday, November 19, 2020: Hesed
Daily reading: Hosea 12:6; 1 John 4:12-21

According to scholar Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, the word “hesed” describes the loving kindness that we are
called to live into. Hesed has four characteristics. First, the word is used when the help of another is essential;
the person in need cannot help themselves. Second, it is used when help is desperately needed; without help,
the person’s situation will go from bad to worse. Third, it is used when the circumstances dictate that one
person is uniquely able to provide the help that is needed; there is no alternative if this person doesn’t help.
Fourth, the person in need has no control over the decision of the person whose help he or she needs. In your
life, have you ever experienced hesed? How did it come to you? From whom? In your prayers, ask God to move
you from simply loving to hesed. (– from “Love (OT),” The Anchor Bible Dictionary, by Katharine Doob
Sakenfeld, Doubleday.)

Friday, November 20, 2020: Perception
Daily reading: Micah 6:8; Matthew 7:1-5

A recent survey of non-Christians reported their perception of Christians to be judgmental, hypocritical,
sheltered, and too political. Similar surveys show no correlation of these perceptions to Jesus Christ. This is a
huge disconnect. Micah says that God requires that we “love kindness.” Kindness has been described as “love in
action,” so God requires that we love “loving on people.” According to 1 John, this is to be our brand identity,
our hallmark, our reputation. And the good news here is that this love isn’t something we need to conjure up.
God is at work in our lives. God’s transformational love is daily forming us into a loving community. How can
we change the perceptions of others toward us? Ask God to show you where you appear to be judgmental or

Daily Reflections
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