DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 JOHN 4:10
The word love is used to mean many different things. We say that we “love” the house that we have just bought or that we “love” a particular vacation spot or that we “love” a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We also “love” a certain television program, and we “love” our husband or wife. Hopefully we don’t love our spouse the same way we love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
The greatest love of all, however, is God’s love for us—a love that showed itself in action. A friend once observed, “Love talked about is easily ignored, but love demonstrated is irresistible.” The Bible says “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Now that is real love! How will you respond to His love today?
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. – 1 John 4:7
God’s love for you stands unmatched by anything this world has to offer. Only His love can:
- calm the restlessness of your soul.
- heal any hatred you have experienced.
- change worry and doubt to hope and security.
- resolve the anger and bitterness that come from disappointment.
- give you a sense of purpose, self-worth, and hope.
God never grows tired of you. He sees the span of your life. His eye is on the potential that your life holds.
He spends each moment completely absorbed in thoughts of you—developing you, molding you, and blessing you.
So often we miss His blessings because we worry about what we should or should not do. Questions fill our minds: Did I do it right? Is God pleased with me?
God loves you, and His love will never change. He has a plan for your life, and you will succeed. The key is to remain focused on Him and not on who you think you should be.
Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Many who are single wonder why God has not answered their prayers for a husband or wife. He has. He has given you Himself, and in His timing He will satisfy the longing of your heart in the way that is best for you.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
I Will Wait For You
You think you understand my love. But I wonder. Do you know just how much I love to be with you? Do you know how much I miss you when you’re gone? You can turn your back on me and walk away; I’ll wait for you. You can move to a foreign country; I’ll watch the road for your return. You can ignore my wishes and wander from my ways. You can make the wrong choices and listen to the wrong voices and waste every treasure I’ve placed in your hands. Still my ear will listen for your knock on the door.
Is it you? I will wonder, and my heart will leap. Is it my child at last? And on that day when I see you from a long way off, weary and broken and headed for home, I will rush pout to meet you. I’ll cover your shame with a cloak of righteousness. I’ll cook a meal and call my friends and plan a celebration. And as I look into your face, which is so dear to me, tears will fill my eyes, and I will say, “My child was lost, but now is found! My child was dead, but now is alive again!
With open arms! – God
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4 “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
God’s Total Surrender to Us
For God so loved the world that He gave . . . —John 3:16
Salvation does not mean merely deliverance from sin or the experience of personal holiness. The salvation which comes from God means being completely delivered from myself, and being placed into perfect union with Him. When I think of my salvation experience, I think of being delivered from sin and gaining personal holiness. But salvation is so much more! It means that the Spirit of God has brought me into intimate contact with the true Person of God Himself. And as I am caught up into total surrender to God, I become thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself.
To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification is to miss the main point. We are called to proclaim Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:2). The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is actually part of the effect of His wonderful and total surrender to us.
If we are truly surrendered, we will never be aware of our own efforts to remain surrendered. Our entire life will be consumed with the One to whom we surrender. Beware of talking about surrender if you know nothing about it. In fact, you will never know anything about it until you understand that John 3:16 means that God completely and absolutely gave Himself to us. In our surrender, we must give ourselves to God in the same way He gave Himself for us— totally, unconditionally, and without reservation. The consequences and circumstances resulting from our surrender will never even enter our mind, because our life will be totally consumed with Him.