Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize the extent He has and will go to love you? Do you realize that you are loved? Have you ever had an encounter with God?
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. –from John 3
Do you know what love really is? Do you realize that God is love? Interested in some lov’in?
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. –from 1 Corinthians 13
Isn’t this the kind of love we all want? Isn’t this the kind of love we all desire? Why not ask Jesus into your heart today and get this incredible relationship and journey started? He will show you how to love! He will show you how to forgive! He will save you! He will transform you from the inside out! The future is bright when you spend it with God! He will forgive you so that you can forgive others! He paid in advance or paid ahead because while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!
So why not take the first step today and learn about the wonders of God’s great love!
Day 29: Bible In One Year 2017 Devotional, Psalm 17:6-12, Matthew 20:1-19, Job 11, Job 12, Job 13, Job 14
1. Know that you are loved and treasured by God
2. Experience God’s love, generosity and grace
3. Hold on to his wonderful love through the difficult days
Know that you are loved and treasured by God … Psalm 17:6-12
6I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. 7Show me the wonders of your great love,you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. 8Keep me as the apple of your eye;hide me in the shadow of your wings 9from the wicked who are out to destroy me,from my mortal enemies who surround me. 10They close up their callous hearts,and their mouths speak with arrogance. 11They have tracked me down, they now surround me,with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12They are like a lion hungry for prey,like a fierce lion crouching in cover. –from Psalm 17
In this world you will have troubles, but take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Don’t try to go it alone, hold tight to God! Don’t try to go it alone, surround yourself with other believers who can lift you up, encourage you, strengthen you in and through it all!
God’s love isn’t a surface level type of love, it is an intimate kind of love! It’s relational! Let’s ask God like David did to keep us as the apple of His eye! To keep us as His most treasured thing! To show us His wonderful love for us! Let’s ask God to keep us under the protection of His wings. To lead us and guide us, to direct our every step! Jesus is calling all of us! He is calling us close to Him so that He can protect us and comfort us like a mother hen to her chicks. Not just in the good times, but even on his way to the cross.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. –from Matthew 23:37
What are you facing today? No matter what it is God can help you! We see David being chased and attacked calling out to God. No matter what we are facing…enemies, struggles, pains, troubles, trials, or any other difficulties, let’s cry out to Jesus and ask Him into the situation! Let’s allow our faith to transform not only our lives but also our response to the rest of the world! Let’s rely on God’s wonderful love!
Experience God’s love, generosity and grace … Matthew 20:1-19
Ever read or considered how the parables or stories Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God pointed to His wonderful love for us? Ever noticed that because of His great love, we reap the benefit of His generosity and grace? He wants us all to be blessed and receive His blessings! We need to make a choice though if we will choose to follow Him, make Him our priority, make Him our focus! When we do the rest of our lives will never be the same!
1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 “ ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” 17Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” –from Matthew 20
Don’t you want everyone to be blessed? Don’t you want everyone to be saved? Don’t you want everyone to get the same blessing that you received? So don’t get upset when after putting in all the time and effort to become more like Jesus that Jesus will receive other new Christians with the same love and generosity and grace! God’s ways are not our ways! They are so much better! God’s thoughts are not our thoughts! They are so much higher!
Don’t allow comparison between you and someone else trip you up! Be focused on your relationship with Jesus! Don’t allow the devil to rob that joy by inserting envy or bitter roots into your life and allowing them to take hold!
How will you live today? Will you live different from the ways of this world? Will you live a self-less rather than selfish life? Will you live a life that turns normal procedures and behaviors on their head? Will you live your life out mirroring God’s plan with love, generosity and grace?
Ever considered the various testimonies people have about their encounter with Jesus? Some have terrible lives up until their encounter with Jesus when it turns around. Some have grown up in the church and lived a life with Jesus from that very young age. Some consider their testimony boring, but in most cases, the people who had to go through the tough and painful times would happily trade their story for the boring one. We need to realize and not get set off because of how we got saved or how others got saved! It’s not about it being fair or not, it’s about God’s love, grace, and generosity because His hope and plan is that none should perish but all will repent and find eternal life!
God’s plan is different from ours! His plan is to give us a hope and a future! His plan shows to be great we need to be least — we need to be humble servants not arrogant leaders! His plan shows to be first we need to be last — let’s put others ahead of ourselves! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s not be arrogant! Let’s be humble servants who want to point others to Jesus that they can learn of His great love, generosity, and grace and be transformed into who God created them to be and testify of His great love for all of us!
He is generous to us all! He gives grace to us all! He loves us all! Today’s reading speaks to it this way…
“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” –from Matthew 20:18-19
Jesus was willing to give up His life so that we can be saved! He conquered the grave to break the chains and get the keys of hell in order that people can be set free from the bondage and the chains that keep us back from all God has in store for those who will diligently seek Him! His desire is for us to spend eternity with Him and so He made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!
Hold on to his wonderful love through the difficult days … Job 11:1-14:22
Don’t lose your hope in God! Hold tight to His wonderful love no matter what difficulties, trials, or troubles come your way. Let’s be like Job who through his suffering still held onto God’s wonderful love!
None of are perfect (for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God) including Job who we see “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.” Ever been young and foolish? Josh speaks to “the sins of my youth“. But the blood of Jesus which expressed His love for us as it was poured out on the cross, covers a multitude of sin! Just because someone is suffering, don’t jump to the conclusion that it is because of their sin! Jesus has shown us that trouble isn’t always because of our sin! He also speaks that we will all have trouble but to take heart for He has overcome the world! So don’t be confused! Let’s be ambassadors of peace and hope and love! Let’s not be people who just find someone who is down and start to pour on the heap, pilling up more pain and more suffering on them! Let’s find ways to help! Let’s find ways to encourage and be Jesus with skin on to these people! Let’s be His hands to help and His arms to comfort! Let’s be His ears to listen! Ever heard it said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Is what you think you should say true? Is what you think you should say helpful? Is what you think you should say inspiring? Is what you think you should say necessary? Is what you think you should say kind? T.H.I.N.K. before you speak!
Once we choose to live our lives with Jesus, we find ourselves in a place where
…neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
–from Romans 8:38-39
We can look beyond our circumstances to what Jesus has gone to prepare for us in eternity! We can look beyond our troubles to what Jesus has promised! We can look be our situation to a hope and a future that has been promised to us by God!
Choose life today! Choose Jesus today! Be transformed by the wonder of His great love!
Whatever you are going through, know that by walking through it and not losing hope in God, you will be vindicated just like Job was in the end!
1Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: 2“Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated? 3Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? 4You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight.’ 5Oh, how I wish that God would speak, that he would open his lips against you 6and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin. 7“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? 8They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? 9Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. 10“If he comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him? 11Surely he recognizes deceivers; and when he sees evil, does he not take note? 12But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human. 13“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, 14if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, 15then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. 16You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. 17Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. 18You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 19You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. 20But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.”
1Then Job replied: 2“Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you! 3But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things? 4“I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called on God and he answered—a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless! 5Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping. 6The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure—those God has in his hand. 7“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. 11Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food? 12Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? 13“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. 14What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; those he imprisons cannot be released. 15If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. 16To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his. 17He leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges. 18He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist. 19He leads priests away stripped and overthrows officials long established. 20He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders. 21He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty. 22He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light. 23He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them. 24He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste. 25They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.
1“My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it. 2What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. 3But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God. 4You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! 5If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom. 6Hear now my argument; listen to the pleas of my lips. 7Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him? 8Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God? 9Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal? 10He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality. 11Would not his splendor terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you? 12Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses are defenses of clay. 13“Keep silent and let me speak; then let come to me what may. 14Why do I put myself in jeopardy and take my life in my hands? 15Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. 16Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance, for no godless person would dare come before him! 17Listen carefully to what I say; let my words ring in your ears. 18Now that I have prepared my case, I know I will be vindicated. 19Can anyone bring charges against me? If so, I will be silent and die. 20“Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you: 21Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors. 22Then summon me and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you reply to me. 23How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin. 24Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy? 25Will you torment a windblown leaf? Will you chase after dry chaff? 26For you write down bitter things against me and make me reap the sins of my youth. 27You fasten my feet in shackles; you keep close watch on all my paths by putting marks on the soles of my feet. 28“So man wastes away like something rotten, like a garment eaten by moths.
1“Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. 2They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure. 3Do you fix your eye on them? Will you bring them before you for judgment? 4Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one! 5A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. 6So look away from him and let him alone, till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. 7“At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. 8Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, 9yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. 10But a man dies and is laid low; he breathes his last and is no more. 11As the water of a lake dries up or a riverbed becomes parched and dry, 12so he lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, people will not awake or be roused from their sleep. 13“If only you would hide me in the grave and conceal me till your anger has passed! If only you would set me a time and then remember me! 14If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come. 15You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. 16Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. 17My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin. 18“But as a mountain erodes and crumbles and as a rock is moved from its place, 19as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil,
so you destroy a person’s hope. 20You overpower them once for all, and they are gone; you change their countenance and send them away. 21If their children are honored, they do not know it; if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
22They feel but the pain of their own bodies and mourn only for themselves.”