Bible Devotions

Love is a Result

It is the finished product.  We cannot wake up one day and decide to love everyone.  It may work temporarily.  As soon as the object of that love does something hurtful, we stop loving.  That’s our nature.

Jesus said, “You can do nothing apart from Me.” He means it.  All our efforts to love, our self-will and determination will fail. 

Only God’s love lasts forever, unchanged.  Even when the object of His love turns their back on Him, God still loves them.  For the Bible tells us nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.  Hell can’t, heaven can’t, our fears can’t, and even our mistakes can’t.  God is love, therefore, His love remains forever.

If we crave more love in our life the answer is found in Jesus Christ.  First John 4:15 says, “whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him and he in God.” As long as we abide in God, we can love others.  First John 4:4 says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Jesus said in John 15:10, “If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”  First John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

As a result of abiding in God, and He in us, we will love one another because it is His Spirit in us doing the loving.  John 3:6 tells us we must be born again to receive this Spirit. When He comes to live in us He is responsible for guiding us in all truth, convicting us of sin, of righteousness and of judgment to come, which helps us stay on track with God’s commandments.

Then the fruit appears.  Galatians 5:22 tells us the first fruit of the Spirit is love.  Everything the Spirit, of God, does is loving.  Once we accept Jesus Christ into our life, God gives us His Spirit which empowers and equips us to desire and do what is pleasing to Him.  That means we have the ability to love others as our self and love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Just because we have received God’s Spirit doesn’t mean we automatically love all the time.  For God designed us each with free-will.  We can choose to walk by the Spirit or by our old worldly ways.  The Bible calls this walking by the flesh.

God gives us every opportunity to love.  He has equipped us to love, but the choice is still ours.  Next time we are tempted to ________________________, (you fill in the blank), S.T.O.P. Before you react, respond or rehearse how you might react, think of this acrostic.

S eek God’s perspective

T urn to God’s Word

O pen your heart to truth

P ray for God’s leading

Hiding God’s word in your heart and mind is a great way to guard against temptation.  You may be tempted to become easily angered, be rude, be selfish or any number of other ungodly things.  Whatever your temptation God always provides a way out.  Seek Him before, during and after the trying time and you will have peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thank you, God, for helping us to love as you have loved us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit to guide us along the pathway of life and righteousness. Thank you for making us right in your sight by the gift of Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen.

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The Way to Understand God’s Word

Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Proverbs 1:23 NKJV

I am not a big proponent of touting a specific formula or certain number of steps to freedom. However, in this verse I see a clear path towards enlightenment. Let’s look at it together.

Step 1: Turn at my rebuke.

In other words, agree with God about our sin. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned” and Psalm 14:3 says “They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.” It’s hard to acknowledge we are not good, but the truth is we are sinful. That sin prevents us from knowing and loving God. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death”. However, the rest of Romans 6:23 says “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. While we may be sinful, there is a way out – belief in Jesus Christ. When we trust Jesus to take away our sins we are made new creations. The old is gone and the new has gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). But the benefit of coming to Christ is not just about cleansing us from sin.

Step 2: Surely I will pour out my spirit on you.

Why do we need God’s Spirit? God’s Word is spiritual but the natural man is not. First Corinthians 12:14 says “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Therefore, man can not understand the things of God without some help. Thankfully God does not leave us to figure it out all alone. No, He gives His Spirit to anyone who turns at His rebuke. First Corinthians 2:12 says “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

Step 3: I will make my words known to you.

One of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to help us grasp what we’ve received in Christ through understanding God’s truth. John 16:13 says “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” As God’s Word is the source of truth, it is reassuring to have His Spirit enabling us to recognize and understand it all.

So what do we conclude? God’s Word is truth. This truth can not be known by the natural man. If we choose to agree with God about sin, He will send His Spirit to reveal His truth to us. With the Holy Spirit’s help we will understand the glorious gift given to us through Jesus Christ and His Word.

Lord, thank you for your Spirit who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and judgment to come. Thank you for cleansing us from all unrighteousness and giving us your Spirit to guide us into all truth. Open our eyes to your truth. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit today.

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