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Holy Week Devotionals

Maundy Thursday - March 28

John 13:34-35

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In his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes that, ‘Love is a verb.’ He goes on to recommend a simple understanding of love: "If you want to study love, study those who sacrifice for others, even for people who offend or do not love in return."

In another bestselling book the Bible(!), Jesus says similar: "Love one another… By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35). How do we know that Jesus & Stephen Covey agree? Because feelings aren’t visible. If love was simply a feeling, people would not be able to know who Jesus’ disciples were. But if love is a verb, a doing word, and actions are visible? Then love makes you identifiable.

In this passage, Jesus is giving his disciples a new mandate. He is commanding them to love one another as he has loved them. And how has he loved them? Well, they don’t know it yet, but he’s going to lay down his life for them – he’s going to become an atoning sacrifice for them (1 John 4:10). Just like Stephen Covey wrote, 2,000 years later: ‘If you want to study love, study those who sacrifice for others, even for people who offend or do not love in return.’

Today is Maundy Thursday, a day when the church remembers Jesus’ final meal with his disciples. A meal where Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and gave them this new mandate: a mandate which raised the definition of love to a new and higher standard. Love, Jesus says, looks like something.

Almsgiving (giving to others) is traditionally one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, the other two being more well-known – fasting and prayer. These three pillars are ways of loving God and loving our neighbour.

Inspired by our Christian faith, IJM’s 2030 vision is to work alongside local governments and partners globally to bring millions of people to safety from slavery and violence, to protect half a billion people and make justice unstoppable for people in poverty. We can’t do this on our own.

This Lent, we want to invite you to personally invest in freedom and justice through the resources God has given you. Through this season, we know you’ve been praying for our work—thank you! And perhaps you’ve also fasted. No more chocolate, coffee, social media or other luxury. Would you consider incorporating the third pillar of almsgiving into your Lent practice this season?

Will you give to the work of IJM to help protect children, women, and men from violence and slavery? Click the button below to give now.

Thank you for joining us as together we build a world where slavery stops and all are free.


In A Spirituality of Fundraising, Henri Nouwen writes that, ‘To raise funds is to offer people the chance to invest what they have in the work of God. Whether they have much or little is not as important as the possibility of making their money available to God. When Jesus fed five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, he was showing us how God’s love can multiply the effects of our generosity’.

Spend some time reflecting on Nouwen’s words and considering what’s in your hands that you could give.


Ask God today what he would have you give and ask him to multiply it in a miraculous way.

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