9-30-09 Devotion: Know It and Show It

God’s love is all around me this week. Literally. In my Bible study, the lessons are all about God’s incredible love for us. Just yesterday the radio station I was listening to in the car featured a guest speaker talking about love. And, this weekend I’m attending our church’s annual women’s conference, and the theme is “So Loved.”

I think God is trying to get my attention.

I know that God loves me. I’ve even memorized a few verses that say so. But, do I really know it? And, do I really show it?

Yesterday was a bad day. It wasn’t bad because terrible things happened to me. In fact, the day was filled with many blessings. But, the problem was me. I blew it with my attitude.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

When I get stressed, I get impatient and angry. I’m full of pride. Instead of extending love, I’m withdrawn and self-centered. I’m not kind and can also be downright rude. My thoughts and words are filled with death instead of life. I fall on my face and fail to bring glory to God.

That was pretty much my whole day yesterday in a nutshell. One thought first thing in the morning snowballed into a mountain of anxiety. I let myself get worked up over what I thought had to be done – my to-do list. Yet, all God wanted me to do was to rest in His love for me.

Yet, in spite of all my shortcomings, the Lord still loves me. His feelings toward me haven’t changed. He doesn’t think any less of me even though I messed up again. He continues to lavish me with His love and readily receives me when I confess my sin to Him.

God loves me. My mind cannot possibly comprehend this amazing love. He cherishes me. I am the apple of His eye. He wants to spend time with me. He longs to show compassion to me. He rejoices over me.

“The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17)

The Lord is quieting me with his love as I spend time with Him this morning. His Word is bringing peace and replacing the anxious thoughts with life-giving truth. He is reminding me that nothing in my life is more important than loving Him and loving people.

How can we possibly live out the standard of 1 Corinthians 13? By remembering how much God loves us. The key to loving others is first receiving love from God. When I try to love in my own strength, my attempts are self-centered at best. His perfect love is what motivates us to love others. I cannot truly love apart from Him.

The Lord takes great delight in you. He created you and knows you better than you know yourself. You can trust Him to take care of you. His love never fails. Spend time today reading about how much the Lord loves you. Let that truth seek deep into your heart and mind.

Maybe you’re a list maker like me. You feel like you’ve really accomplished something when you’re able to check items off your list each day. Today my #1 item is to love God and to let Him embrace me with His love. Make that your top priority as well. Then, #2 is reaching out to people who need encouragement, comfort, joy, or just a great big bear hug.

After all, just like the song says: People will know we are Christians – Christ-lovers, Christ-followers – by one thing: our love. Let’s love passionately today.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)

“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5)

Comments

  1. Oh, Kristen, your devotions have been so great. I haven’t checked your blog as regularly as I had been, but I was able to check it today (10/13) and have been reading them “backwards” — they have been really speaking to me! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  2. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m glad you were able to check the blog today, and that you were blessed. I just write about what God shows me, and it blesses ME when He uses it to help someone else. 🙂