God’s Love In Action

John’s Gospel    13: 1

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

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God’s Love in Action

By: Cathy Irvin, cbn.com

Valentine’s Day has come and gone but this scene will always be in my mind. I saw a man buying flowers. He bought three big beautiful roses: one pink, one red, and one white. They were wrapped in a clear bag. When I went out of the store I saw him again, bending down in the snow to gather some up; and he was putting it in the bag so the roses wouldn’t wilt before he got them to their destination.

This was a wonderful idea and he was so thoughtful; I knew it represented his love for someone to take special care of his gift.

I thought about Jesus like the man who didn’t want his flowers to wilt and die. Jesus came that we might have life abundantly here and to give us eternal life so we really never have to die either. Yes, we will leave this earth one day in the physical, but our spirit man will live forever. Our earthly body (like a rose) dies, but our spirit is renewed day by day.

Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:15-17 (American Standard Version)

The three roses reminded me of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father God loved us so much that he gave us His only Son, Jesus, to love and protect us, to heal us and to guide us every day. And He gave us the Holy Spirit to comfort us and empower us to be His witnesses while we are here on earth. Oh, what Love that is ours! He is the best Valentine I could ever have. How about you? There is a song that says “Like a rose trampled on the ground, He took the fall … ” Yes, He paid the price for you and me to have eternal life and an abundant life now.

The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. John 10:9-11 (American Standard Version)

I almost wanted to stop and tell that man how thoughtful I thought he was, but I had a short lunch hour and had to be back to work. But then I thought I could write about the experience and hopefully bless others with the story.

I want to tell others of God’s love and say that perhaps you didn’t have someone that gave you a Valentine rose, candy, or a stuffed animal. It is OK, just take Jesus as your Valentine; love on Him and let Him love on you. Remember He will be your Valentine every day! By the way, you can always buy yourself a rose anytime; and when you look at it think about Jesus – one of His names is “The Rose of Sharon” and He will be with you to brighten up your day.

 

The Depth of God’s Love for Us

July 29, 2019

From: crosswalk.org

 

The Depth of God’s Love for Us

Weekly Overview:

We have a great High Priest who constantly intercedes on our behalf. The Son of God and Man loves you more deeply than you can fathom. He prays for you, that you might walk in the abundant life his death affords you. And in John 17 we get a glimpse into the fullness of his desire for all those who would believe in him. As we dive deeply into the riches of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer this week, may your heart be awakened and your life be transformed by the riches of God’s love.

Scripture:“O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:25-26

Devotional:

There is no force more powerful than the love our heavenly Father has for us, his children. His love can move mountains, stop the roaring seas, heal broken bones and wounded hearts, transform lives, and set free those held captive by sin and shame. So great is his love for you and me that he sent his only Son to die that we might live through him. And in John 17:25-26, Jesus makes an unfathomable statement about how great the depth of God’s love is for us:

Do you know that God loves you the way he loves Jesus? His heart is full of affection for you. Jesus always prays perfectly in line with the will of the Father because they are one. So when Jesus prays for God to love us with the same love he has been given, his prayer is in perfect alignment with the heart of our Father.

Romans 8:37-39 says, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Through the death of Christ, the barrier between us and  relationship with God was torn in two. The wrath of God was satisfied with Jesus’ death, and now we can experience the full depth of his love. Through Christ, we have been made new so that we can finally walk in unhindered fellowship and oneness with a holy, perfect God.

God loves you simply because he loves you. You don’t have to work for his affection. You don’t have to set yourself straight before God can pour out his love over you. The father in the prodigal son story ran out to meet his son before anything had ever been set right. He didn’t know his son was there to apologize. He didn’t care. He simply wanted to love his child. Your heavenly Father feels the same way about you. He longs to love you right where you are, as you are. He longs to fill you with love to overflowing. He longs for us to experience this love and oneness just as Jesus did when he walked the earth.

As you enter into guided prayer, open up your heart and allow God’s grace to settle in. Allow him to free you from works-based religion and guide you to a lifestyle of relationship. God is not an angry taskmaster who shows affection only when you succeed. He is a loving Father who will always love you no matter what. Take time to receive the depth of his love for you today. Allow his love to heal you, transform you, free you, and lead you to the abundant life he has always longed to give.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the depth of God’s love for you.

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16

2. Where do you need a fresh revelation of God’s grace today? What’s keeping you from receiving the depth of God’s love? In what ways do you need him to show you how good of a Father he truly is?

3. Ask the Spirit to give you a revelation of God’s grace and love for you. Receive God’s presence and rest in his love. Meditate on and renew your mind to how deeply your heavenly Father loves you.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45.

May the whole of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer be true in your life. May you come into the fullness of what Jesus died to give you. May your life be a wonderful reflection of his love. And may you experience the depth of his love for you in every season. You are a child of the Most High, loving God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. His love is powerful, real, and available. May your day be full of joy, peace, and purpose in light of God’s glorious grace.

 

Satisfying Your Core Longing

 

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

Have you ever thought about the true longing of your heart? I’m not talking about a passing craving, intention or goal. I’m talking about the message your heart is desperately longing to hear.

For years, I suppressed the true longing of my heart — to know my presence matters. As a long-time Christ-follower, I was well-acquainted with the gospel story and knew Jesus loves me and had died for me, bringing me freedom and fullness in Him. But I was struggling to let that truth fully settle into my heart and life.

I kept falling into the same ruts, feeling stuck and ashamed year after year. I couldn’t grasp the identity and value I knew I already had, and I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel like I was growing more.

Frustration, sadness and loneliness welled up within me, and I became very sensitive to people’s words and actions. I wondered, Is there any sanctification happening within me? Is something wrong with me? Do I have a calling? Can I make any kind of impact on this world?

Though I looked calm and capable on the outside, my inner world was in shambles. I was constantly comparing myself to others, a dangerous game in which I always came up short.

My unwillingness to submit to the Holy Spirit and insistence on going about my life the way I saw fit revealed my idols — the ways in which I tried to satisfy my heart’s core longing apart from Christ.

In biblical times, a cistern was a man-made reservoir dug in the ground or rock to collect and store water. Cisterns were important in Israel because of the long dry season and very few natural water sources. But a broken cistern was completely worthless. Cracked rock or crumbling stone held little to no water. Collecting and storing water in a broken cistern would be about as effective as trying to drink from a cracked coffee cup!

We’re all wired to feel, think and act in certain ways in order to satisfy our core longing. But we forsake our Creator when we try to fulfill this unending craving in our own strength, and we’ll always be left wanting more.

In Jeremiah 2:13, the prophet Jeremiah points out the foolishness of God’s people. The Fall corrupted how we try to satisfy the thirst of our hearts. We look to the broken cisterns of relationships, professional successes, material goods or many other things that can never truly satisfy. These things will never offer true peace to our hearts or relationships.

But there is good news!

Jesus’ life, death and resurrection righted all that is wrong in us so we can bring to life our true longing and purpose. The gospel specifically fulfills each of our hearts’ cries, giving us a spring of Living Water that will never run dry.

When we know, believe and trust that Christ alone can satisfy us, He unlocks deep transformation. Our thirst is quenched, and we are set free to live as His beloved children. We can then use our unique perspectives and amazing qualities to bless others and bring glory to God.

Whatever you’re thirsting for today, may you fully believe and trust you are fully seen and loved by God. He intricately created you and knows your every heart longing. You can find rest and great joy knowing all He has is yours.

 

Trusting God – Streams in the Desert – January 24

Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t

But the dove found no rest for or the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him… And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf (Genesis 8:9-11).

God knows just when to withhold from us any visible sign of encouragement, and when to grant us such a sign. How good it is that we may trust Him anyway! When all visible evidences that He is remembering us are withheld, that is best; He wants us to realize that His Word, His promise of remembrance, is more substantial and dependable than any evidence of our senses. When He sends the visible evidence, that is well also; we appreciate it all the more after we have trusted Him without it. Those who are readiest to trust God without other evidence than His Word always receive the greatest number of visible evidences of His love.
–C. G. Trumbull

Believing Him; if storm-clouds gather darkly ’round,
And even if the heaven seem brass, without a sound?
He hears each prayer and even notes the sparrow’s fall.
And praising Him; when sorrow, grief, and pain are near,
And even when we lose the thing that seems most dear?
Our loss is gain. Praise Him; in Him we have our All.
Our hand in His; e’en though the path seems long and drear
We scarcely see a step ahead, and almost fear?
He guides aright. He has it thus to keep us near.
And satisfied; when every path is blocked and bare,
And worldly things are gone and dead which were so fair?
Believe and rest and trust in Him, He comes to stay.

Delays are not refusals; many a prayer is registered, and underneath it the words: “My time is not yet come.” God has a set time as well as a set purpose, and He who orders the bounds of our habitation orders also the time of our deliverance.
–Selected

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