Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where you felt used and unappreciated? I certainly have! But the experience taught me an invaluable lesson about my relationship with God. I vividly recall my college days when I fell deeply in love and gave everything I had to a man, only to be met with casual indifference. I thought,
“If only he would give me a chance, I’d show him how well I can love.”
Being used, followed by rejection was a painful experience; yet, throughout my life God has repeatedly used that memory to teach me profound lessons about His boundless love. You see…
All the giving I invested in relationships pale in comparison to the immeasurable love and generosity God has shown me.
There have been long stretches of time in my life when I’ve completely ignored God, yet He continued to pour His love into me. He continued to give me life, health, material goods, more time on this earth, and blessing upon blessing. In fact, God even blessed me abundantly while I was rejecting Him and bringing horrible shame to His name! I was using and abusing God’s love for me MORE than anyone had ever used and abused my love for them!
This realization caused me to see that my behavior had kept me from experiencing the greatest love-relationship on earth!
So…why do we often respond to God’s magnificent love with rejection or indifference? I can tell you why I did. I failed to understand WHO He is and the degree of deep fulfillment that comes from a passionate relationship with Him. Unknowingly embracing the enemy’s distorted view of God led me to become an ambivalent and casual lover of God, or even—to avoid Him altogether. But when I began to discover how deeply He loves me—I couldn’t get enough. I still can’t! The more I read about God and regularly remind myself of His goodness in my life, the more I am overwhelmed with gratitude and want to love Him better.
Our recognition of God’s qualities and His goodness transforms us and becomes the most captivating passion of our heart.
Our heart is drawn into a relationship with Him. God will not “make us” be thankful, and He will not “make us” fall in love with Him—love is always a choice. Apart from choosing His gift of salvation, choosing to love Him is the best choice we make each day. The Psalmist beautifully intertwined love and thankfulness when he wrote,
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for HE is good, for HIS steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 106:1
Jesus said the proof of our love for Him is when we obey Him.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Loving God is two-fold:
- Rejecting behavior that shames Him; and,
- Embracing behavior that grows a relationship with Him.
When we are forsaking the sins which crucified Jesus—we are loving Him. When we are active in church, daily studying our Bible, praying earnestly, testifying of God’s goodness, listening and being led by God’s Spirit—we are loving Him. Much like a healthy marriage…Loving God is not just church on Sunday; it’s living for Him 7 days a week—in our home, our job, our friendships, our alone time, our entertainment…and everywhere we go and everything we do!
When we earnestly seek God, give Him thanks, and live in obedience to Him—we discover a love that surpasses anything we have ever known.
We would love to hear your thoughts about this devotional. Did God speak to you or challenge your daily walk with him? Or is there a topic that you would like Kimberly to cover or expound on? Please share with us in the comments below.
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