LOVE LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN HURT DEVOTIONAL BY JENTZEN FRANKLIN

Love Wins—All the Time

Scripture:  John 21:15-17

Love is the answer to the broken home. Love is the answer to the addict. Love is the answer to fractured relationships. Love is the answer to being offended. Love is the answer to heartbreak. Love is a weapon that can shatter division and rebuild what has been broken.

What is happening in your life right now that tests you in the way you love? Did you just discover that your spouse has been cheating on you? Do you want to reconnect with the daughter you haven’t spoken to in months? Did your son just tell you his girlfriend is pregnant? Is your teenager suffering from an addiction that is overwhelming not just his life but every single person in your family? Has your adult daughter declared she’s a lesbian and she’s done with the whole God business?

Different dynamics and complexities characterize each of these situations. But they’re real. They’re hard. And they hurt.

I wonder what would happen if we decided that, with God’s help and in His strength, we are going to love like we’ve never been hurt. Instead of withholding affection, staying bitter or seeking revenge, we love.

God will begin, little by little, to release you from the past if you will reach for a new day.

It takes a lot of love and forgiveness to hold a family together. Love never fails. Keep on forgiving. Keep on loving. Keep on reaching. Keep on talking.

The Big Idea:  The ones whom you love the most can hurt you the most. Love them anyway.

NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31-39‬

He loves me even when I fall beneath His will
He loves me, oh, oh, oh, He loves me
When my broken heart just won’t keeps still
He loves me oh, oh, oh, He loves me
Even though He knew sometimes I’d fall
Yet and still my name He called, He loves me
Jesus, I’m so grateful for Your love
He loves me even though I was born in sin
He loves me, oh, oh, oh, He loves me, yeah
Took me like I was and now I’m free again, yeah
He loves me, yeah, oh, oh, oh, He loves me

Kirk Franklin – He Loves Me

A SPECIAL POSSESSION

The dictionary defines possession as something that is owned or possessed and the state of being completely dominated by an idea or emotion.

The dictionary also defines special as Better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual and Exceptionally good or pleasant

The Bible says in the book of Deuteronomy: “That is why the Levites have no share of property or possession of land among the other Israelite tribes. The Lord himself is their special possession, as the Lord your God told them.)”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭10:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Can the same be said of you and I, is the Lord our special possession? Do we prize Him above all else, do we see Him as exceptionally good? Can we say that He has completely dominated all of us, every part?

The Levites had no physical earthly property, no possession, no inheritance nothing but they had God and that was all they needed. The never lacked, they were never abandoned, all their needs were met. There was nothing missing in their lives simply because God was their special possession.

Can we also make God our special possession today? He is the same yesterday, today and forever, He never changes! He will be our ever present help, He will be our shield and exceeding great reward, He will be our ever present help

THANKS

A life of thanksgiving prepares and opens our hearts to see the path of the Lord and to follow it. It shines a light in the dark places and our feet are aligned to the way we should go.

Are you living a life of thanksgiving? Is your heart continually open to the Lord? Or do the cares of this world becloud your vision! Let praise and thanksgiving rise up in your heart even right now to the God who is able to do exceeding abundantly far above our expectations!

You are God from beginning to the end, there is no place for argument, You are God all by yourself!!

“But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

““It’s the praising life that honors me. As soon as you set your foot on the Way, I’ll show you my salvation.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭50:23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

“He who offers a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way rightly [who follows the way that I show him], I shall show the salvation of God.””
‭‭PSALM‬ ‭50:23‬ ‭AMP‬‬

 

THE SEARCH

She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him. “Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked her. “Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.” “Mary!” Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, “Rabboni!” (which is Hebrew for “Teacher”). “Don’t cling to me,” Jesus said, “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord!” Then she gave them his message.”
‭John 20:14-18 NLT‬
Have you found yourself searching, for peace, security, hope, love? What if you could stop searching? What if the thing you are so desperately longing for, is infinitely closer than you could ever imagine? What if it is just a breathe away, just a whisper away? Mary sought the Lord but didnt realize He was right there with her. The Lord is not far from us, He is right there at the end of our whispered cry and prayer to Him.
“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
‭Jeremiah 29:12-13 NLT‬
http://bible.com/116/jer.29.12-13.nlt

GRACE, GRACE, GOD’S GRACE

A casual study of the book of Leviticus overwhelms me with the demands of the law and all the the Israelites had to go through just to catch a glimpse of God, it also fills my heart with Joy that I am of the dispensation of grace. I am not under law but under grace. I can lay hold on the provisions of the sacrifice of Jesus and have fullness of life. How awesome is the grace of God ! That we can boldly come unto His throne of mercy and obtain mercy, no more walls, no more veils! No more sacrifices! Just peace and joying in knowing that He died to set me free, therefore I am free indeed! Oh the boundless, unfanthomable love of Christ!  The lyrics of Imela by Nathaniel Bassey comes to mind

When I think upon Your goodness
And Your faithfulness each day
I’m convinced it’s not because I am worthy
To receive the kind of love that You give
But I’m grateful for Your mercy
And I’m grateful for Your grace
And because of how You’ve poured out your Yourself
I have come to sing this song out in praise

Imela, Imela
Okaka, Onyekeruwa (Great and Might creator of the world)
Imela, Imela (Thank You! Thank You!)
Eze mo (My King)

Who am I to sing Your praises?
Who am I to worship You?
Its Your blood that makes the difference in me
And made a way to enter into Your throne
I could not come near Your presence
I could never sing Your song
But the sacrifice on Calvary’s tree
Is the reason I can cry out today

Imela, Imela
Okaka, Onyekeruwa
Imela, Imela
Eze mo

SAVED BY LOVE

““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Every teacher has students that are harder to love than most, and Teddy Stoddard was one fo those students for Jean Thompson. Teddy came to class dirty, was unresponsive, and turned in abominable work. Mrs. Thompson returned many of Teddy’s papers with a large, red “F” on the top. If she had read Teddy’s permanent record, she would have seen a history of trouble from first grade on. His home life was in turmoil. His mother became terminally ill, then died the next year. The school counselor noted his depression, and recommended psychiatric help. It was all in the record . . . but Mrs. Thompson never read it. On the last day before the Christmas holidays, Mrs. Thompson received gifts from all of her students, including Teddy. His was crudely wrapped in brown paper and contained a rhinestone bracelet with a few stones missing, and a half-used bottle of perfume. The other children laughed as Mrs. Thompson put on the bracelet and dabbed the perfume on her wrist. “Isn’t this lovely,” she said, nodding to Teddy with a smile. After class Teddy approached her desk. He had never come forward before. “Mrs. Thompson,” he said, “thank you for liking my presents. You smell like my mother used to smell, and her bracelet looks good on you, too.” When he walked out, Jean Thompson sank to her knees and prayed, “God, I sought to be a teacher of facts and not a lover of children. Forgive me for misunderstanding Teddy. Help me to love him more.” The next morning Jean Thompson arrived in class a changed teacher, and Teddy Stoddard was a changed boy. She tutored him so he could catch up with the other students. She looked for things she might praise him for, no matter how small. He had never encountered that kind of love before, and he blossomed under her care. At the end of the year, Teddy graduated into the next grade, but Mrs. Thompson received notes from her student for many years after that. The last one read, “Dear Mrs. Thompson: You can now call me Theodore J. Stoddard, M.D. Would you ever have believed it? By the way I’m getting married July 26th, and I would love for you to come. You can sit where my mother would have sat. You’re all the family I have. My dad died this year. Hope to see you soon. Love, Teddy.” Teddy was saved by love. And so are we.

 

COPIED FROM THE YOUVERSION BIBLE APP