2. Responding to God’s Love
Please remember to pray before reading!
The format for today follows the pattern that will continue throughout the 30 days: Yesterday was the devotional message and today we have a brief summary, texts for you to look up in your own Bible that support the message from the day before, and then some heart-searching questions for you to ask yourself, followed by a prayer.
Yesterday, we learned how much God loves each one of us. We can read about His love in nature, in His Word, and in loving impulses in the human heart. But the clearest revelation of God’s love comes to us through the amazing sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The more we know of Jesus, the more we will grasp the reality of God’s love for us individually. (Be sure to look up the texts that are bold and underlined in your own Bible. Read them all if you can!)
Genesis 1 — The story of creation. God created a perfect world, and He said it was very good.
Psalm 145:15, 16 —God provides for our needs, and satisfies our desires.
Romans 5:12 — Sin brought death, and we all have sinned.
Genesis 3:17 — The curse of sin, which is disobedience to God.
Psalm 19:1,2 — Nature reveals the glory of God.
Psalm 33:4-7 — God's goodness in the earth, He is the Creator.
Exodus 34:6 — The beautiful character of the Lord, who is merciful, gracious, longsuffering, full of compassion.
John 1:18 — Jesus revealed what the Father is like.
Luke 4:18 — The mission of Jesus is to heal and deliver us.
Matthew 11:28-30 — Jesus calls us to Himself, and offers rest.
John 14:8, 9 — Jesus revealed the Father.
1 Timothy 3:16 — God was in Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 53:5 — Christ suffered for our sins, and bore our penalty.
Matthew 27:46 — Jesus suffered for us, making a tremendous sacrifice.
John 4:9, 10 — How Jesus shows His love by offering living water.
John 3:16 — God loves you!
2 Corinthians 5:19 — Jesus reconciled us to Himself, and forgave us.
John 10:17 — Jesus gave His life for us.
Hebrews 2:11-18 — Jesus identifies with us because He became one of us.
Now it is time for personal reflection and introspection. You may wish to review yesterday’s reading. As you ask yourself these questions, don’t be content with quick, pat answers. The purpose of these questions is not to pat yourself on the back, and feel good about yourself. In order for growth to take place, we must leave our comfort zone, and squirm a bit. Search your heart for your genuine beliefs. Go deep, and be brutally honest, and let your heart be broken in complete surrender to God. If you find that your answers don’t measure up to what is pleasing to God, ask Him to change your heart, so that you can be in harmony with Him. Each question can be turned into a prayer for God to make it a reality in your life. You may find it helpful to write your answers to these questions in a prayer journal, as you express the desires of your heart.
1. Do I honestly believe that God really loves me?
2. How do I give evidence in my life that I appreciate God’s love for me, and that I love Him in return?
3. Do I acknowledge God’s handiwork in nature, and do I let it tell me of His love for me?
4. What can I do to be more tuned to nature, listening to God’s voice in the natural world?
5. Do others see Jesus in my behavior toward them?
6. If the person closest to me shared their honest opinion of me, would they describe me as a loving, unselfish person?
7. Do I frequently think about what Jesus has done for me?
8. Do I realize how much my sins hurt Him, so that it breaks my heart?
9. Do I sense Him lovingly calling me to come to Him?
10. Do I feel my heart responding in love for Him?
Prayer: Father in Heaven, You have declared Your love for me in Your Word, and I believe Your Word is true. You have demonstrated Your love for me by sending Jesus Christ into this world to pay for my sins. I cannot even begin to comprehend such love. Oh, Lord, I want to believe You, with all my heart, I want to believe. Let me sense Your love surrounding me. Help me, Father, to respond to Your love. I know that my love is so insignificant compared to the depths of Your love. Help my love for You to grow stronger and stronger as I learn more about You. Thank you, Lord, for all that You have done for me! I do love you, Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen.