The Door of Love
Walking through a lush forest, listening to singing birds, the sound of rushing waters, and feeling the soft caress of the sun’s warmth on my face, I meditate on love.
But what is love? Some say that it is a living feeling, wishing for everything good, something intense—not palpable, but perceivable.
Incredibly, every person needs that manifestation of love. God is the essence of love—pure and perfect, with the greatest acts of faithfulness and kindness without limits, all of which the human mind fails to grasp. Jesus is God’s expression of love.
He doesn’t care what sinful path you may have been on, or how many times your feet may have slipped, or how dirty your clothes are. The Bible speaks of a woman who had a reputation as a sinner. She knew that Jesus was at a certain Pharisee’s house, and she showed up uninvited, threw herself at His feet, and wept. Jesus forgave her sins, giving her a new opportunity. As the Apostle Paul writes:
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2-3 NIV)
The Lord speaks of a change of life and of being filled with His love, which covers sins and casts out all fear. We sometimes allow our faith in God’s love to be clouded by fear. As you read this devotional, As we come to God in worship, we can express how we feel and be honest about what is going on in our hearts. God’s love always renews and transforms us:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
At CBN Guatemala, we serve and pray for all the people who call on us every day. We understand the manifestation of the love of Jesus and that He is knocking at the door of each one of their hearts. Some accept and others reject the love of the Lord because of deception and sin. Prayer opens a door of communication with Jesus and gives Him the opportunity to enter lives. And then we experience forgiveness and mercy. People who have been healed, set free, and restored testify to the faithful love of Jesus, who called them to His marvelous light. It is a glorious time because the door is open for everyone who believes in Jesus and needs His love!
Jesus holds out His lifelines of love and mercy to you. If you would like to respond, I invite you to pray this prayer with me:
Job 14:14-15 14If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. 15You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
Job continued to proclaim his innocence, and his friends continued to insist that he had to have some secret fault. At first, Job said no one can stand before God and if God gave man an audience, man would not be able to speak. Later, however, he asked if there could not be some mediator. There is a Mediator that will stand between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.
In the middle of Job’s complaint, he spoke the words of the passage for today. Though the people of Job’s time did not believe in the afterlife, Job uttered these words in a way that fit with New Testament theology. Job’s earlier words show he saw death as an end of being, and so we interpret the change here to mean his healing and restoration. “Will man live after death?” In the light of the New Testament we answer “Yes!” to his question. Our days upon earth are hard service, but our transformation, our metamorphosis, is coming. God will call with the sound of the Last Trump, and we will answer. He will long for the creatures His hands have made. The Son will come to receive His bride, and the marriage feast will begin.
Since the Holy Spirit crafted the words, we have the wonderful hope hidden within Job’s imperfect understanding. In spite of the difficulties we face in life and the tests that God allows to come our way, we have the hope of our transformation and the call of God to those He longs for. Cling to your hope through times of trial.
Encouragement: Set your sights on eternity with Him! You will be renewed!
Listening Hard for God – Streams in the Desert – September 18
- 202218 Sep
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29 :18).
Waiting upon God is necessary in order to see Him, to have a vision of Him. The time element in vision is essential. Our hearts are like a sensitive photographer’s plate; and in order to have God revealed there, we must sit at His feet a long time. The troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an object.
Our lives must be quiet and restful if we would see God. There is power in the sight of some things to affect one’s life. A quiet sunset will bring peace to a troubled heart. Thus the vision of God always transforms human life.
Jacob saw God at Jabbok’s ford, and became Israel. The vision of God transformed Gideon from a coward into a valiant soldier. The vision of Christ changed Thomas from a doubting follower into a loyal, devout disciple.
But men have had visions of God since Bible times. William Carey saw God, and left his shoemaker’s bench and went to India. David Livingstone saw God, and left all to follow Him through the jungles of dark Africa. Scores and hundreds have had visions of God, and are today in the uttermost parts of the earth working for the speedy evangelization of the heathen.
There is hardly ever a complete silence in the soul. God is whispering to us well-nigh incessantly. Whenever the sounds of the world die out in the soul, or sink low, then we hear the whisperings of God. He is always whispering to us, only we do not hear, because of the noise, hurry, and distraction which life causes as it rushes on.
A Dream about Bread
SCRIPTURE READING — JUDGES 7:1-25
“I had a dream. . . . A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
Have you ever had a significant dream that you couldn’t understand?
At different times throughout the history recorded in the Bible, God spoke to people through dreams, and it often took another person to interpret the meaning of a dream. Sometimes still today people find that God speaks through dreams, and sharing them with others can help them discern what God is saying.
In our story for today, God tells Gideon to go to the enemy camp at night, and he hears an enemy soldier describing a dream he has had. In the dream, a loaf of barley tumbles into the Midianite camp and collapses the tent of the Midianites. Another soldier interprets the dream, saying that this means the God of Israel will bring destruction on the Midianites through Gideon. And Gideon, encouraged by this dream, goes back to his camp and musters his army to trust in God’s power—and God overcomes the enemy for them.
God demonstrates that he can work by any means, and often he uses what may seem to be a weak or unlikely option to show how powerful he is.
Do you believe that God can reveal his plans in unlikely ways, and that God can use what seems weak to us to reveal his power in our lives?