As I start this day and reflect on the world’s celebration of Valentine’s Day, it makes me reflect on the core principle. LOVE! The day celebrates St. Valentine who shared the good news of Jesus and was martyred for it. He is considered the patron saint of LOVE. Do you realize how much of the world would be transformed if we just grasped the reality and the importance of LOVE?
Consider how Jesus was able to summarize the 10 commandments or supersede them with two simple commands of love. First we need to love God! So as we start this day that is to celebrate love, let’s choose to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’. Second, we need to love people! So as we start this day that is to celebrate love, let’s choose to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘ From Jesus we hear how no commandment is greater than these. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but rather He came to fulfill the law!
So now that we understand that it is about love and how all the rules and regulations can be summarized through love, let’s reflect on what the definition of true love is!
God is love! We can take the above and replace the word LOVE with GOD and it still remains true! Do you realize how much God loves you? Do you realize how far God was willing to go to demonstrate His love for you? Do you realize how much God was willing to do in order to not only show His love for you but make a way for you to be reconciled to Himself? Today’s devotional shows how one verse that most people have seen before even without knowing the words of it and so I will let it be shared momentarily. Do you realize that the Bible is a love letter from God? It is the Father’s Love Letter to us! Ever taken a moment to see a summary of the Bible in the form of a love letter? There is a video and audio and even a text version that you can check out online at www.fathersloveletter.com. You will find that it is available in 120+ languages. You will find that the video has been updated for over 2 decades.
Take a moment to check out the video before we jump into today’s devotional.
Are you ready and willing to receive God’s love? Are you ready and willing to accept God’s love?
The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for February 14th
The Gospel in a Nutshell
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: John 3:16
‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ‘
With today being Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share this verse using the Amplified Translation too:
‘ For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.’— John 3:16
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- How often have you seen John 3:16 show up in your life? On TV? At sporting events? On t-shirts?
- If you haven’t seen it before what thoughts go through your mind?
- Let’s not forget or lose the significance of John 3:16
- Let’s read it new each day and each time we see it for the truth it is and provides.
- Consider what we have to offer God that could pay the price for us to receive His forgiveness and reconciliation.
- Consider how great His love is for us that He would take things into His own hands in order to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.
- God didn’t wait for us to come up with a solution. God didn’t wait for us to have a better option. God didn’t wait for us to provide our own way. God didn’t wait for a better deal. Love moved first! God moved first!
- God took His own initiative and moved first!
- God loved us so much that He gave! That’s right God made the first move! Out of love He moved first!
- God wants to forgive us so much and His character required a payment to make it possible and so He gave out of love!
- God wants to spend eternity with us and His character required a payment that was large enough to open that door and so He gave out of love!
- How much does God love you? Consider how much He was willing to give up for you! That’s right, His one and only Son! That’s right the sinless lamb of God! That’s right He didn’t deserve it but it was the only way to make a way for us to be reconciled, forgiven, and able to spend eternity with Him!
- This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
- God gave everything!
- It was a one way deal where God gave and we just have to choose to receive it!
- Jesus stepped out of heaven in order to die and give His life on the cross in order that we may live!
- By receiving Jesus we get to spend eternity with God in Heaven rather than separated from God for all of eternity in Hell.
- Can you capture the reality of this verse today on this Valentine’s Day?
- God loved us so much
- God gave His one and only Son for us
- God forgives us for our sins
- God rescues us from an eternity apart from Him
- As today’s devotional is titled – The Gospel in a Nutshell.
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How does it affect you to read this verse as if it’s the first time you ever saw it?
- Speaks to how great God’s love for us is
- Speaks to how He didn’t want to leave us to our own ways to try and make a way when He knew there wasn’t a way
- God’s character knew there was only one way to solve the problem once and for all
- So Love came first!
Have you accepted His promise? Who else needs to hear it?
- I learned how it is about a relationship rather than rituals, routines, and religion.
- Everybody needs to hear this and so I post it to the world in hopes that some will receive it and be saved.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
- Exodus 34
- The LORD passed before him and proclaimed: “The LORD! the LORD! a God compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in kindness and faithfulness, extending kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; yet He does not remit all punishment, but visits the iniquity of parents upon children and children’s children, upon the third and fourth generations.”
- Don’t allow covenants with people rob you of our covenant with God or get you tripped up.
- Can people tell that you have been spending time with God?
- Exodus 35
- Do you realize God’s rules or commandments are for your own good and protection?
- God isn’t trying to keep you from good things but rather He is trying to protect you from evil things.
- Will you choose to use your gifts and talent to serve the Lord?
- Exodus 36
- Use your gifts and talents with stewardship to be the best you can be in order to bring God the praise, the honor, and the glory.
So are you ready for love today? Are you ready for the most incredible and most powerful love to enter your life? Are you ready for unconditional love?
Where are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.—The Sinner’s Prayer
Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.