This Devotional is part of our "Can't Quarantine the Gospel" series where members of the church are contributing morning Quiet times during this time of Social Distancing. This is Day 9 of that series. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time. You can see more devotionals here
“For Such a Love As This”
Everyone strives to feel loved, to be fully loved and cared for deeply, in a satisfying way. And most of us also strive to give love and create deep bonds of affection with others. Have you ever noticed there may be times in life when it is difficult to actually feel loved and cared for? It is such a yearning of the heart to feel love and yet there are many obstacles to its presence. As imperfect beings, we fall short of unselfishly loving others and of receiving full love. In this world, we are offered the opportunity to experience unfailing and everlasting love. This is for you, this is for me, with no debt or conditions. His love awaits our open hearts.
1 John4:16b “God is love.”
Ps33:5 “The earth is full of his unfailing love.”
Ps33:22 “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord..”
Ps130:7 “..for with the Lord is unfailing love.”
Of course, we want evidence of this claim. There is very little in life which comes at no cost. That which is freely given is often suspect to doubt. How can I trust God’s unfailing love for me? I may see it for other people, yet question it for my life. The gift of God’s love has always been, since the beginning of mankind. The evidence lies in Creation. God’s splendor and brilliance in creation is for all to see and enjoy.
God’s love takes many forms. The amazing underwater world of oceans, the beauty of sunsets, the birth of a child all manifest God’s love. Some may agree this is God, others may explain phenomenal nature in intellectual terms. So, we must keep looking for the absolute proof of God’s love. Shall we accept it in the definitive life of Jesus? Jesus existed. Jesus prayed. Jesus preached. Jesus was crucified. Jesus resurrected. God’s love for you and for me and for all others is in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
How do flawed people, such as you and I, accept the perfect and unfailing love of God in Jesus? God asks us to accept His love (John 15:9). The answer is simple and deep, to believe. Are you willing to Believe? To believe His love is fully for your heart to thrive and soul to sing. His love is for your life to have outward calm and inner peace in all its days. Jesus is real. His resurrection solves all our earthly problems if we Believe.
Q: Does your belief in God extend to the belief that He loves you?
Some days in my life are difficult, some events are even painful. Scripture says in John 8:31, If I believe in Jesus and follow him, I will be set free. I am striving to feel free in Christ and fully loved by God. His love is perfect and produces love in my heart for others. Very freeing indeed.
Q: John 15:9 says: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." How are you doing right now with staying in Gods love for you and embracing it?
Q: When is it hardest for you to believe God loves you and values you?
Practical ways to embrace Gods love:
1.Meditate- Meditate on the beauty of nature to see God’s love in the details of Creation. Check out the night sky one clear evening and look for the constellations.
- Stop and look out your window for a minute and observe some aspect of Gods creation.
2. Pray- As with any gift, we must open it and receive it. Pray daily to receive God’s lavish love in your heart. I think the willingness to ask and receive His gifts is significant.
- What do you feel like you need today? Take some time to pray about it.
3. Remember- Keep a journal of the evidence of God’s love in your life. Write down the daily miracles you notice.
- Write down the miraculous ways God has worked in your life this past year.
4. Make it personal- In the midst of life, choose to believe that Jesus is a personal gift meant to fill you with love.
Fill in the blank with your name:
For God so loved that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son [to] to condemn , but to save through him. (John 3:16-17)
5. Give - Intentionally offer acts of kindness and forgiveness to share God’s love with others.
- What is one way I can do this today?