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A Wonderful Explosion

http://odb.org/2015/01/22/a-wonderful-explosion/

A Wonderful Explosion
Jennifer Benson Schuldt
John 13:31-35

As I have loved you, . . . you also love one another. —John 13:34

In the book Kisses from Katie, Katie Davis recounts the joy of moving to Uganda and adopting several Ugandan girls. One day, one of her daughters asked, “Mommy, if I let Jesus come into my heart, will I explode?” At first, Katie said no. When Jesus enters our heart, it is a spiritual event.

However, after she thought more about the question, Katie explained that when we decide to give our lives and hearts to Jesus “we will explode with love, with compassion, with hurt for those who are hurting, and with joy for those who rejoice.” In essence, knowing Christ results in a deep care for the people in our world.

The Bible challenges us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). We can consistently display this loving response because of the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. When we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us. The apostle Paul described it this way, “Having believed [in Christ,] you were sealed with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13).

Caring for others—with God’s supernatural assistance—shows the world that we are His followers (John 13:35). It also reminds us of His love for us. Jesus said, “As I have loved you, . . . you also love one another” (v.34).

Dear Jesus, help me to experience Your
love more deeply so that I can share it
with others. Empower me through Your
Holy Spirit so that I can glorify You.

Love given reflects love received.

Love is one of the most repeated themes in both John’s gospel and letters (1, 2, and 3 John). John’s emphasis on love reflects Jesus’ own emphasis. Jesus said that He was giving a new command when He said to love one another. But how is this a new command? The key is not in the what, but in the how. In the law of Moses, it was commanded to love others as we love ourselves, but Jesus set a new standard: His love for us. In the hours before He went to the cross, He would both tell and show that love. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Bible in a Year:
Exodus 4-6; Matthew 14:22-36

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Have You Taken Your Love Break Today?

http://bible.com/r/S.3R

Today I am reading day 213 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 213

Have You Taken Your Love Break Today?

John 15:9 9“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

In your workplace, you probably take coffee breaks, lunch breaks, tea breaks and definitely toilet breaks. Why not do the same in your spiritual life — take time out for breaks, especially love breaks?

What is a love break? It is the time you take to enjoy and feed on the love of Jesus for you. At any time during the day, wherever you are, find a quiet spot and feed on the love of Jesus. Just sit down and talk to Him. Say to Him, “Thank You, Jesus, for loving me. Nothing is going to happen to me that You don’t already know about. Jesus, when I could not save myself, You died for me. You gave up Your life for me. What else will You not do for me!”

Such love breaks are typified in the Old Testament by Aaron the high priest and his sons eating the breast of the animal sacrificed. (Leviticus 7:31) The breast of the animal speaks of the love of Jesus. Today, you are a priest to God. (Revelation 1:6) So spend time feeding on the love of Jesus for you, and see yourself nourished, strengthened and sustained by His love. Jesus is our High Priest today. This means that His food is in loving us. He enjoys loving us and is also “nourished” by His love for us.

But do not forget that the breast was roasted by fire (Leviticus 7:35), which speaks of God’s judgment on Jesus as He hung on the cross because He was carrying our sins. So as you feed on Jesus’ love for you, see Him loving you at the cross. When things around you are not going well, do not allow the devil to say to you, “If God loves you, how come these things are happening to you?” My friend, interpret God’s love for you based on the cross, not on your present circumstances.

During the day, when you are hard at work, when busyness sets in, when problems pile up or when discouragement comes, just stop everything and take a love break with Jesus! Let Jesus love you. Let yourself enjoy being loved by Him. Lean on His bosom, abide in His love and be nourished by His love for you!

Thought For The Day
Be nourished by God’s love for you today!

Set Your Love Upon Jesus

http://bible.com/r/S.39

Today I am reading day 195 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 195

Set Your Love Upon Jesus

Psalm 91:14 14“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

Jesus was in a house in Bethany when a woman came to Him with an alabaster flask containing very costly fragrant oil. She poured the oil on His head. (Matthew 26:6–7) This woman loved the Lord. She had set her love upon Him.

But those who were present considered what she did a great waste because the oil could have been sold for an amount equal to one year’s wages, and the money given to the poor instead. Even Jesus’ disciples were indignant and asked her, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8)

But Jesus defended her, saying, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.” (Matthew 26:10) Not only that, He accorded her the highest honor when He added, “Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” (Matthew 26:13)

Two thousand years have passed since this woman anointed Jesus with the expensive oil. She never expected in her wildest dreams that her act of love would be told down through the ages. Many kings and rulers have come and gone. Their great acts have faded from the memories of men. But what this woman did for Jesus is still told today around the world as a memorial to her!

When you get a revelation of how much Jesus loves you, you will set your love upon Him. And when you act out of love for Him, though others may see it as a waste of time, energy or money, He will defend you and deliver you from your critics. He will also set you on high. Your ministry will become powerful and life-changing. Your work will be highly esteemed among your peers. Your company will be prominent and highly successful. And it will not just be a job that you have, but a position of influence to impact many lives.

So set your love upon Jesus. Make Him the love of your life today, and He will defend, deliver and set you on high!

Thought For The Day
When you set your love upon Jesus and act out of love for Him, He will defend, deliver and set you on high.

Getting Filled With All The Fullness Of God

http://bible.com/r/S.2N

Today I am reading day 147 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 147

Getting Filled With All The Fullness Of God

Ephesians 3:19 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

We would all like to experience more health, abundance and success in our lives. God, being God, has all of these things, won’t you agree? So to be full of God is to be full of health, abundance and success. But how does one become full of God?

In the past, I was told that to be “filled with all the fullness of God”, I had to fast a certain number of days, pray a certain number of hours and speak in tongues incessantly! I am not belittling fasting, praying or speaking in tongues, but to be filled with all the fullness of God is not about what you do. It is not even about your love for Christ. It is actually about knowing the love of Christ! No one ever told me that if I knew how much God loves me and focused on His love for me, I would be full of Him.

When God made you, He designed you to run at optimal level when you are filled with His love, like a car that runs at its best when it is filled with the right kind of petrol or gasoline. When you realize how much God loves you and you feed on His love for you, you will be supernaturally filled with the fullness of God.

And to be full of God is to be full of everything God is to you and has for you. To be full of God is to come to a place of life, health, peace, abundance — total wellness.

Also, when you are conscious of how much God loves you and you become filled with the fullness of God, what follows is the next verse — God doing exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think, according to the power that works in you. (Ephesians 3:20) You will experience the tremendous blessings of God exploding in your life! You will become a blessing magnet!

So as God’s beloved, continue to be nourished by His love for you, and experience more health, abundance and success in your life!

Thought For The Day
Being filled with the fullness of God is not about what you do, but about knowing how much God loves you.

The Antidote To Fear

http://bible.com/r/S.12

Today I am reading day 64 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 64

The Antidote To Fear

1 John 4:18 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…

Experts tell us that babies have two natural fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. A study on fear was conducted on 500 adults of varying ages, backgrounds and lifestyles. The results showed that they shared some 7,000 different fears. This means that they must have learnt 6,998 fears since they were born. That is a lot of fears!

Actually, our bodies are designed for faith. Fear was foreign to man until Adam sinned against God. For the first time, Adam knew fear, and he hid from God and said, “I heard Your voice… I was afraid… I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10)

Since then, man has been living in the realm of fear — fear of the future, fear of what others might say, fear of diseases, fear of flying… Actually, every fear is born out of the feeling of being cut off from God. If you think that God is still mad at you, that He is out to punish you, how can you have faith that everything will be all right? How can you have faith for your miracle?

But I have good news for you. There is a sure antidote to fear. The apostle John says that “perfect love casts out fear”. When you know that God so loves you that He gave His Son to take your beating so that you can take His blessings, you will stop fearing.

God so loves you that at the cross, Jesus was rejected so that you could become God’s beloved. It was not the nails that kept Jesus on the cross. It was His love for you. And if God did not withhold Jesus, why do you think that He will withhold healing, finances or a blessed marriage from you? (Romans 8:32)

Today, when you hear His voice, you will hear Him say, “You are My beloved child, in you I am well pleased.” And you don’t have to hide but you can run to Him without fear because He is not out to punish you. He is out to protect and provide for you, so fear not!

Thought For The Day
Run to God without fear because He is not out to punish you, but to protect and provide for you.

The Sure Symbol Of God’s Love

http://bible.com/r/S.Y

Today I am reading day 34 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:

Day 34

The Sure Symbol Of God’s Love

Romans 5:8 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Imagine this scenario: Your car tire blows and you are late for work. At the office, you find out that someone else got the promotion you had been hoping for. Then, you receive a call from home informing you that your kitchen pipes are leaking again. Before long, you hear a voice telling you, “If God loves you so much, how come all these things are happening to you?”

Perhaps you are asking the same question today and wondering if God really loves you. Well, I want you to know that you must never judge God’s love for you based on your circumstances. No, look at the cross instead! The cross is the sure symbol of God’s love for you. It is at the cross that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

A teenager learnt that the cross indeed spoke of how much God loves her. At one point in her life, she was contemplating suicide as the only way out of her health problems. She had intended to take some Panadol tablets with a bottle of vodka. She was all ready to die when she started clicking aimlessly on some MP3 songs in her computer. And of all the songs that were on her screen, she picked a beautiful song written by one of our church musicians.

The lyrics of the song, sung by one of our church vocalists, spoke of being held by God’s love and being treasured in His sight. They touched this teenager. Sensing that an awesome God with His amazing love was reaching out to her, she abandoned her plan to kill herself. Not long after that, she wrote to our church and even met the worship leader who had sung the song. The worship leader counseled her and she came to know how much God loves her and how He has demonstrated His love for her through the cross.

Beloved, when you look at your life and find yourself wondering if God really loves you, look to the cross and see God’s outstretched arms. It will remind and reassure you of how much He loves you!

Thought For The Day
Look to the cross and see God’s outstretched arms — that is how much He loves you!

Love From the Heart

http://bible.com/r/2B.5s

Today I am reading day 364 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Love From the Heart

Philippians 1:7-8 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.

I’ve discovered that if people are not on my heart, they’re on my nerves. Heart love begins with understanding why someone feels the way they do. Ask questions and then listen. Hear the hurt, look for the problems, know what makes the person tick. If you care, you’ll be aware.

How do you love people who, even when you do understand them, you find them unlovable? “God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:8 NIV) In Greek, the word “affection” is the word for intestines. In Greek society, the Greeks thought that the seat of the emotions was in your internal organs.

Paul was saying, “I’ve got a gut feeling of love for you.” That is not natural. It is supernatural and that’s why Paul said it’s not from himself, but it’s the affection of Christ Jesus. The only kind of love that lasts in spite of heartache and difficulty in tough circumstances is God’s love — the affection of Jesus Christ.

So how do you get this kind of gut love? “God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.” (Romans 5:5 NIV) God’s love is not something you work up. It is something that is poured into you by the Holy Spirit as you let Him live in you day-by-day.

God Chose You Before You Chose Him

http://bible.com/r/2B.5q

Today I am reading day 362 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

God Chose You Before You Chose Him

1 Peter 1:2-3 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,

God chose you long before you chose Him. God took the initiative. The Good News translation puts it this way: “You were chosen according to the purpose of God.”

Why would God choose you or me to be a part of his family? Because he is a God of love; he is a God of grace. The more you understand grace, the more you’re going to be amazed by it.

God chose you. Did you deserve it? Not a chance. Do you deserve to go to Heaven? No way! Are you good enough to be in God’s family? No. He just chose you. And that’s good news.

On what basis did He chose you? First Peter 1:3 says, “For it is His boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again so that now we are members of God’s own family.”

God chose you based on his mercy, not your performance. You’ll never earn it. You’ll never deserve it. You couldn’t work hard enough for it. You couldn’t be perfect enough.

It’s only because of God’s grace and mercy that the Creator of the universe says, “I want you in my family.” If that doesn’t encourage you, you’d better check your pulse.

The Width of God’s Love

http://bible.com/r/2B.5P

Today I am reading day 335 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

The Width of God’s Love

Ephesians 3:18-19 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

The width of God’s love extends across the entire world and includes everyone he has created: “The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.” (Psalm 145:17 NIV, emphasis mine)

God never made a person that he didn’t love. He made you; he loves you; and God doesn’t make junk! He loves you unconditionally. He loves you very, very much.

Everybody matters to God; in fact, we see in the life of Jesus that he even loves the unlovely, and those who may feel unlovable. Do you want to know the secret of self-esteem? Here it is: If you want confidence, then understand how much you matter to God. If God loves you, who cares what anybody else thinks.

Because God loves you, there’s no need to prove yourself worth. We don’t have to wear certain kinds of clothes to make us feel like we’re okay, or drive a certain kind of car to prop up our faltering egos. We don’t need status symbols anymore.

God Gives Freedom

http://bible.com/r/2B.5O

Today I am reading day 334 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

God Gives Freedom

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.

1 John 4:18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

1 John 4:16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

The world defines freedom as a life without any restraint – “I can do anything I want to do; say anything I want to say, without anybody telling me what to do.’ Everybody else may get burned by you, but you get to do it your own way. The world says you can have your freedom, but only by being totally selfish.

Yet, the Bible says the only way to true freedom is through Jesus: “If the Son sets you free, then you will be really free.” (John 8:36 TEV)

Real freedom is freedom from fear, where you’re truly free from guilt, from worry, from bitterness, and from death. You’re free to quit pretending because you’re free to be yourself.

How do you get rid of those kinds of fears? By letting God love you! The apostle John teaches that, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear .” (1 John 4:18 NIV)

When you realize how much God loves you, you’ll begin to live in true freedom. In fact, you worship God when you recognize that “God is love.” It is an act of worship to agree that he is a loving, caring, generous God and that we can “rely on the love God has for us.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)

Biblical Obedience: Love + Trust + Action

http://bible.com/r/2B.5A

Today I am reading day 320 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Biblical Obedience: Love + Trust + Action

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.

Today, the word obey has a negative connotation. We view obedience as a forced, unwilling decision to do something we don’t want to do because we’re afraid of punishment.

But that’s not the kind of obedience that’s in God’s Word. Obedience in the Bible means this: love + trust + action.

It starts with love, as Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV) Obedience comes from knowing that God loves you and you love him in return.

A lot of people think obedience is about fearing God, but God wants us to see obedience to him as a relationship of love. And out of love comes trust. If you trust what God is saying to you, and you believe that he loves you, then that will lead to action.

You need to have all three because action without love is just rote religion. And love without action is just mere talk.

Come to Worship Jesus

http://bible.com/r/2B.4u

Today I am reading day 304 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Come to Worship Jesus

One reason the wise men were wise is because they came to Jesus for the right reason. They were seekers of the truth. And they would go to any length to find Jesus, but they came to worship Jesus.

There are people today who don’t love Jesus; they just use Jesus. Politicians use Jesus to get votes. Business leaders use Jesus to get a blessing on their business. Marketers use Jesus to sell a product. People use Jesus for their own selfish reasons.

We often ask, “What can Jesus do for me,’ as if he’s a vending machine. We act as if God is a giant genie — just rub the lamp and whatever your wish is his command. But God is not your genie. He is your God. He’s in charge. He has the right to tell you what to do, not vice versa.

So the wise men came for the right reason. They didn’t come to get something from Jesus; they came to show gratitude, to show love, to show honor, to show respect.

They gave Jesus the best they had. They didn’t give him their leftovers. They didn’t give him lip service. They didn’t give him a gift card. They thought through what to give him. The three presents that the wise men brought had very important significance —

Gold is the gift you give to Kings. In days of old, tribute was paid by bringing gold to the king. It was the most precious metal of the time and so the wise men are presenting it as a gift to the king.

Frankincense was a kind of incense, used to worship God in the temple. So the wise men are saying this baby, Jesus, is not only king, he is also God. He is worthy of being worshipped.

Myrrh was a spice used to embalm the dead. Now that’s an unusual gift for a baby: the spice put on a dead body before wrapping it in linens. So the wise men, by their gifts, acknowledged that Jesus is God Incarnate, he is king, and he is going to die. Jesus is the savior of the world and he has come to die for our sins.

Even before Jesus said his first word, it was known that, “This is the Savior who will die for the sins of the world.’

Quit Trying to Please Everybody

http://bible.us/r/2B.2m

Today I am reading day 172 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quit Trying to Please Everybody

PRO 29:25 It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe.

ROM 8:31 In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us?

When we worry about what other people think, we let them control us. We waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what other people want us to be. Then, we waste a lot of time and energy trying to become like that rather than just being what God made us to be. You’re manipulated and controlled by somebody else.

Worrying about what other people think is dangerous because we’re more likely to cave in to criticism. It means we don’t always do the right thing; instead, we do the thing that everybody wants us to do.

And we’re in danger of missing God’s best because we’re so worried about what other people want us to do that we can’t stop to think about what God wants us to do.

Fact #1: You cannot please everybody.
Fact #2: It’s not necessary to please everybody.
Fact #3: Rejection will not ruin your life.

Quit trying to please everybody! Remember that nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give them permission.

The Apostle Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 TEV) This means we can think like this: “God likes me, and I like me; if you don’t like me, then you’ve got a problem. If God likes me, who cares that everybody doesn’t approve of everything I do.’

Remember, nothing you ever do will make God love you less. Nothing you ever do will make God love you more. He loves you completely right now.

Love Is a Habit

http://bible.us/r/2B.r

Today I am reading day 53 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Love Is a Habit

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

If you only love on and off like a light switch, you do not love others like God wants you to love. Jesus said, “If you only love those who love you what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32 NIV)

His point is this: all of us can love those who love us back. Becoming a master lover means you learn to love the unlovable. It’s when you love people who don’t love you, when you love people who irritate you, when you love people who stab you in the back or gossip about you.

This may seem like an impossible task and it is – that’s why we need God’s love in us, so we can then love others: “We know and rely on the love God has for us.” (1 John 4:16 NIV)

When you realize how much God loves you – with an extravagant, irresistible, unconditional love – then his love will change your entire focus on life. If we don’t receive God’s love for us, we’ll have a hard time loving other people. I’m talking about loving the unlovely, loving the difficult, loving the irritable, loving people who are different or demanding.

You can’t do that until you have God’s love coming through you. You need to know God’s love so it can overflow out of your life into others.

The Bible Says Love Is a Skill

http://bible.us/r/2B.q

Today I am reading day 52 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

The Bible Says Love Is a Skill

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 Timothy 4:15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.

Love is a skill that can be learned. In other words, it’s something you can get good at and that means you get better at love by practicing love.

You may think you’re a good lover, but God wants you to become a great lover, a skilled lover, a master lover. Yet, most people never learn how to love.

You can become an expert at relationships. Wouldn’t you like to become known as a person of extraordinary love? When people speak of you they might say: “He doesn’t care who you are or what you look like.” “She doesn’t care where you’ve been or what you’ve done or where you’re from.”

The only way you get skilled at something is to practice. You do it over and over. The first time you do it, it feels awkward, but the more you do it, the better you become.

The same is true with love. (1 John 4:7) Let’s practice loving each other. As the Bible says, “Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all.” (1 Timothy 4:15 HCSB)

Love is an Action

http://bible.us/r/2B.p

Today I am reading day 51 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Love is an Action

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Do you really love someone? Let’s see how you act toward that person.

Love is more than attraction and more than arousal. It’s also more than sentimentality, like so many of today’s songs suggest. By this standard, is love dead when the emotion is gone? No, not at all. Because love is an action; love is a behavior.

Over and over again, in the Bible, God commands us to love each other. And you can’t command an emotion. If I told you “Be sad!” right now, you couldn’t be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command.

If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is an action.

The Bible says, “Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 NLT) We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.

Love Is a Choice

http://bible.us/r/2B.o

Today I am reading day 50 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Love Is a Choice

Deuteronomy 30:20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Today we’ve bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it’s something that just happens to us; it’s not something we control. In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, “I fell in love,” as if love is some kind of a ditch. It’s like I’m walking along one day and bam! – I fell in love. I couldn’t help myself.

But I have to tell you the truth – that’s not love. Love doesn’t just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.

There’s no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love. Love is a choice.

You must choose to love God; he won’t force you to love him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won’t force you to love him. Because he knows love can’t be forced.

And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won’t force you to love anyone.

We Love Because God Loves Us

http://bible.us/r/2B.n

Today I am reading day 49 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

We Love Because God Loves Us

1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

We were created in God’s image to do two things on earth: Learn to love God and learn to love other people; life is all about love.

But love all started with God. He loved us first and that gives us the ability to love others. (1 John 4:19) The only reason you can love God or love anybody else is because God first loved you. And he showed that love by sending Jesus Christ to earth to die for you. He showed that love by creating you. He showed that love by everything you have in life; it’s all a gift of God’s love.

In order to love others and to become great lovers, we first need to understand and feel how much God loves us. We don’t want to just talk about love, read about love, or discuss about love; our need is to experience the love of God.

We need to reach a day when we finally, fully understand how God loves us completely and unconditionally. We need to become secure in the truth that we cannot make God stop loving us.

Once we’re secure inside God’s unconditional love, we’ll start cutting people a lot of slack. We won’t be as angry as we’ve been. We’ll be more patient. We’ll be more forgiving. We’ll be more merciful. We’ll give others grace.

Biblical Obedience: Love + Trust + Action

http://bible.us/r/2B.k

Today I am reading day 46 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Biblical Obedience: Love + Trust + Action

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.

Today, the word obey has a negative connotation. We view obedience as a forced, unwilling decision to do something we don’t want to do because we’re afraid of punishment.

But that’s not the kind of obedience that’s in God’s Word. Obedience in the Bible means this: love + trust + action.

It starts with love, as Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV) Obedience comes from knowing that God loves you and you love him in return.

A lot of people think obedience is about fearing God, but God wants us to see obedience to him as a relationship of love. And out of love comes trust. If you trust what God is saying to you, and you believe that he loves you, then that will lead to action.

You need to have all three because action without love is just rote religion. And love without action is just mere talk.

Impact The World With The Father’s Lavish Love

Joseph Prince – Impact The World With The Father’s Lavish Love – 24 Feb 13

Published on 28 Feb 2013
How do you impact the people of the world for Jesus without being caught up in the things of this world? What’s the Bible’s definition of “worldliness” and how do you stay on top of it in your own life? Get the answers and more in this revelatory message by Joseph Prince. Eradicate false fears about becoming “defiled” by the world, and discover how believing you are the Father’s beloved brings true holiness and liberates you from worldly lusts. Get a fresh revelation of the Father’s lavish love today and be emboldened to reach out to a lost and dying world!

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