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The POWER of GOD'S LOVE
A 31-Day Devotional to Discover the Father's Greatest Gift
By CHARLES F. STANLEY Thomas Nelson
Copyright © 2008 Great Commision Media
All right reserved.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. -Jer. 31:3
What if you could know that no matter what you have done, you are loved unconditionally? Many people find this hard to imagine; they live each day with a heavy sense of guilt over past sins and failures. They feel as though they will never be able to meet the expectations of others, including their spouses, employers, family members, friends, and especially God.
Far too often, we hear about the love of God and think secretly, Oh, but you don't know what I have done. God could never love me, much less accept me. The awesome truth is this: He loves you unconditionally and also eternally. He loves you the way you are. He created you in love and He has promised to love you forever. Does He love sin, brokenness of heart, and actions that prevent you from knowing Him personally? No, because He knows that each one of these has the potential to wreck andruin your life while preventing you from experiencing His love in a personal way. No matter what experiences or feelings you have had, God loves you and this will never change.
You may have grown up in a home where you felt unloved, overlooked, and dismissed. This is not true with God. When He sees your life-no matter how young or old you are-He sees potential, promise, hope, and someone He has created in His own image. He loves you.
When you make wrong choices and drift in your devotion to Him, His love will not grow cold. It remains red hot with devotion. Though there are consequences to sin, God will never stop pursuing you, seeking to bring you back to Him.
Maybe you have chosen to walk away from Him, feeling as though you cannot live up to His standards. No one can; we all need His help, His guidance, His compassion, and most of all, His unending love.
Perhaps you have faced one rejection after another, and it seems as though there is little in life that you want to live for. Remember this: God knows the struggles of your heart. He hears your cries, and if you will turn to Him, He will answer your prayers, heal your brokenness, bring a sense of overwhelming joy to your life, and never leave you.
He won't withhold His love from you. In fact, nothing can stop or prevent the love of God. There is no sin too great for His love to overcome. Love is what changes us and draws us closer to Him than we ever believed possible-His divine love that forgives, restores, renews, and reenergizes. Sin may blind you to God's personal care and compassion, but it is powerless in His presence.
After His death, Jesus' disciples became frightened and wondered if they would soon lose their lives as well. They scattered in fear, and most returned to their former way of life. Peter, James, and John were no exceptions. After His resurrection, Jesus came to them and found them out on the open Sea of Galilee, tossing their nets into the water, hoping to catch a day's wages of fish (John 21).
They had lost their eternal perspective of the power of His love. They had forgotten His words and turned to their own resources. Yet, at the sight of the risen Savior, their hope was renewed, their passion rekindled, and their dreams reborn. Do you feel as though your hopes have been dashed, your dreams have been shattered, and the fire of your passion has been blown out?
The moment these men saw Jesus standing on the shore, Peter jumped into the water and began swimming to Him, and the others followed in the boat. They realized their fears were imagined. God had done exactly what He promised to do, and the same is true concerning your life. The Lord will never abandon you, will never stop loving you, and will always seek to draw closer to you.
Jesus came to earth to save us from an eternal death. He also came to break the power of sin. This means you can say no to the very things that have separated you from God and yes to an eternity of joy, peace, promise, and love!
God, help me to understand the depth of Your love. I know in my mind that You love me, but I want to experience Your love with my heart and soul, not simply read about it or examine it in a Bible study. Draw me into Your love and keep me there. Amen.
Excerpted from The POWER of GOD'S LOVE by CHARLES F. STANLEY Copyright © 2008 by Great Commision Media. Excerpted by permission.
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