Today is Day 40 of our Devotional series, “Can’t Quarantine the Gospel” and it is our final day of this particular series (there will be more!). You can see them all here
Today’s Devotional is special because it was done by two of our campus students who have also grown up in this Church and have been transformed by Christ and are giving their all to His kingdom. Enjoy!
God Loves You
By Jon Sebourne, Jon Heinzman, and Patrick Genova
We have to remember Gods love for us first above everything. Some may say, “Yo Jon! I only love my momma.” While that may be true, someone loves you way more than your momma loves you.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans was written by the apostle Paul and in the letter, he’s writing to the baptized Jewish and Gentile Christians in Rome in order to explain that only through God’s grace they received their salvation. This is the ultimate unifying factor. When we realize that we are where we are not by our own efforts, but by Gods love the playing field is leveled. No one is better than anyone else and this brings people together with a spirit of gratitude.
God loves you! (GOD loves you)
God loves you! (God LOVES you)
God Loves you! (God loves YOU)
Say it out loud to yourself: “God loves me!”
I have a hard time believing it sometimes too! Why would Christ die for me while I was still a sinner? Why would God die for us while we were hostile toward him in our sin? We can take this passage for granted, but seriously, why would God do that? Is there any logical reason? The answer is love and love can be beyond reason and logic. God’s love for us is unparalleled, it is truly unconditional.
God is the author of Agape; unconditional; godly love. This type of love does not exist without God. It has only come into our world because of God.
“Agape is the catalyst that makes value appear in anything.”
~ Peter Kreeft
“Agape doesn’t love somebody because they’re worthy. Agape makes them worthy by the strength and power of its love. Agape doesn’t love somebody because they’re beautiful. Agape loves in such a way that it makes them beautiful.”
~ Rob Bell
Gods love for us is so great that he see’s incredible value in us, he see’s us as treasure, something worth fighting for, worth dying for. What’s crazy is that this has nothing to do with us or anything we have done. It is based on who He is and this love calls us deeper, transforms us, helps us to feel our value.
Q: Do you feel God’s love for you in your life right now?
Q: How has this Agape love changed your life?
God calls us to love others with the same type of love he loves us.
1 Samuel 18:1-5
18 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
5 Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
This scripture shows us that Agape love is a choice, it’s a conscious decision, we love others because God loves us. Not because they may be easy to love or that our love is reciprocated. Jonathan and David made a covenant with themselves and God to continually fight for their relationships.
Q: have you ever thought about Agape love as being a decision you make (not based on the other persons actions)
Q: Who do you need to choose to love today?
Interestingly enough, it says, “Because he loved him as himself” twice in this passage. The second Commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself is a calling to the type of relationship God wants and expects us to have with each other… a Jonathan and David type of friendship
Why does God want that? Because Love is from God, and God is love
1 John 4:12
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
When we act on these scriptures to love the way God does, we feel Gods love ourselves and we are transformed at that moment into something different. In the moment of us loving other people we come into contact with something divine, something alien, something special and we know it and we can feel it. Others will also know it and feel it. They will know we’re ambassadors of God and our friendships will be an evidence of the fact that there is a love that is out there that is only accessible through a relationship with the author of love.
Q: How can you show someone love today?
1 John 3:18
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Making it Practical:
1. Embrace Gods love First
- Give your life to him if you haven’ yet, go all in!
- Talk to Him (Pray)
- Listen to Him (Reading the Word)
- Follow Him (Evangelism, serving others, ect)
2. Love others with that love from God
- Thinking about others – Challenge yourself to think about one other person everyday
- Making an effort to show them you love them- not just in your words, but in your actions
3. Follow Jesus’s example if uncertain on how to love people
- Hebrews 10:39 encourages us to not shrink back. Don’t shrink back from loving people. Imitate the way Jesus loves people.
4. Follow Pauls example of love and anyone else who you believe is strong in this area
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 – “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”
- We can look to each other for examples of what it means to love other people.
- Who is someone you consider strong in this area you can imitate?
5. Whatever may be keeping you from loving, give it to God.
- Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”