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

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