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.

THE EXPECTATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS

“So Peter invited the men to stay for the night. The next day he went with them, accompanied by some of the brothers from Joppa. They arrived in Caesarea the following day. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.”

Acts of the Apostles 10:23-24 NLT

When Cornelius sent his messengers to Peter, it took between four and five days for the journey. Remember there was no mobile phones, no internet, no GPS, nothing that would tell him how far they had gone, if they had arrived at Joppa, nothing. Yet the Bible records that when PETER and the messengers arrived, Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. He was believed what the angel spoke to him in the dream and was fully persuaded and expectant that the servants would return with PETER. Imagine how he was able to keep all his relatives and friends together and waiting for the arrival of PETER and his servants. What did he say to them to convince them to stay, what was going on in his own heart? But in all these things, he was assured that his expectation would not be cut off.

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality–faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].”

‭‭HEBREWS‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Surely there is a future [and a reward], And your hope and expectation will not be cut off.”

‭‭PROVERBS‬ ‭23:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬

WHEN THE SPIRIT SPEAKS

“Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭8:26-40‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Several things come to mind as I read this passage of the bible

1. Philip’s sensitivity and obedience to the Spirit – He heard the Spirit speak and He moved, no question! He wasn’t so bothered about where or if he ever got there, he was just ready to go as the Spirit led him. Philip was available, he was present to be used. Sometimes being produces more than doing. Philip obeys the command to go and be near the chariot. He was there, he was present, he was available.

2. The eunuch is returning from a pilgrimage to the Temple, a place laden with Spirit-filled 1st century Christians, and he leaves still not knowing Christ. Was he overlooked or ignored? Was there no one there that could see his need and help him? Was he not connected? Did he not see or feel God in that gathering? What went wrong? Was it not his time? Or was God just preparing him for a closer encounter? We may never know exactly the reason but we can be assured of one thing, God saw his heart, that he was seeking for a personal knowledge of Him and He made it possible through a Faithful, Available and Teachable (FAT) vessel.

As we go through today can we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to opportunities to meet the needs of others and may we be sensitive enough to see when He is prompting us. May we take our eyes off the ‘destination’ and enjoy the journey and go as He leads.

SPEAK LORD, YOUR SERVANT HEARETH

“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:15-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Why did Mary not recognize Jesus voice until He called her name
All the while Jesus was talking to Mary, He called her “woman” there was no sign of relationship, but immediately He said Mary, He spoke to her, to her inner needs, her inner desires, to her brokenness, her lack, He ministered to her, He spoke with intimacy, he spoke with endearment, He spoke with Love. And she heard Him and recognized Him. Speak Lord, your Servant heareth!
How many times do we just hear the Lord talking to us, no relationship, no intimacy, the words seem not to make any impact, it is because we have not developed a true relationship, we have not inclined our ears, we have not laid our heads on His lap and listened. When we do so as Mary had done in Luke 10:38-42 “As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”” Luke‬ ‭10:38-42‬ ‭NLT‬‬, when He then speaks to us, we will recognize His voice and listen to Him.
SOEAK LORD YOUR SEVANT HEARETH!

 

LAND THE LORD HAS ALREADY GIVEN ME!

“I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

As I read this passage this morning joy just welled up in my spirit, a song of praise burst forth from my mouth because it just dawned on me that everywhere my foot goes is already mine. I am not asking for it, I am not begging for it, it is land my God has already given me! Past tense! I am not about to receive it, am not planning on getting it. It is Land my God has already given me!

Divine health is land my God has already given me!

Abundance is land my God has already given me!

Protection and security is land my God has already given me!

Whatever thing I need and require is Land my God has already given me!

Glory Alleluia! My God has already given me all that I could ever need or ask for!

It is mine already!

Alleluia!!

THE SPIRIT WITHIN

“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬

In the lives of many professing Christians today, the experience is that of the Holy Spirit working on the outside rather than on the inside. In the actual sense, the Holy Spirit is resident “in” every Christian,He come in at the point of salvation,  but He wants more than just to be resident––He wants also to be president! How is it in your life and experience? Is the Spirit a passing guest or a permanent resident? That makes all the difference. The Spirit within! The Spirit on the inside!

Is He the parakletos––“para” (beside), “kletos” (call)––one who is called alongside to help in your life or is He just a spare wheel?

 

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