There is a vast difference between having an intellectual knowledge of God versus a captivating love relationship with Him. It’s like the difference between friendship with a brilliant professor and friendship with the love of your life. The first relationship increases knowledge and the other changes your heart.
God does both.
We can study God’s Word, go to church three times a week, tithe, teach Bible studies, etc., without ever being in love with God. I did. Studying the Bible was a strictly intellectual pursuit. Tithing and church service were more a show for other people and to serve my belief that I was pacifying God. My mind was filled with knowledge, but my heart was stubbornly my own. I would not let go and allow God’s love to satisfy me. Unfortunately, before I was willing to turn my heart over to God, I had to reach a crushing level of despair. There, I discovered:
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”(Psalms 34:18)
Here I was, this child of God who knew as much about the Bible as many preachers I knew. But I was as far from loving God. In that brokenness I made a decision that completely changed my life: I determined I was going to SEARCH to KNOW God. I knew His Word, but made up my mind that—I wanted to know HIM. In order to know Him, I had to get close to Him. However, God is righteous and to experience His closeness we must not only be born again, but we must live in obedience to His Word. He doesn’t snuggle up to sin; sin is the reason He went through hell for us. To experience His powerful and righteous presence, we must aggressively turn from our sinful ways on a daily basis.
I am always amazed to see that the more I reject my habitual sinful behavior, the more I experience His tender, compassionate, and intense love.
Now—the more I experience Him, the more I want Him.
Falling in love with God changes our heart and thus, our actions! Just as loving couples who grow old together begin to act and look alike, God also makes us more like Him. He conforms us through His wise and loving influence because His Word becomes an intensely personal love letter from Him—straight to our heart. His Word says:
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:32, 35, 37-39
In God’s presence we discover the passionate, unfailing, and captivating love we have always desired.
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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Beautiful devotional . Keep up the great work
Praise God the Creator of all beauty!
This is so true! I’ve been a Christian since the age of 13 but never really understood God’s love for me. How strong it truly was until a little over a year ago. I’m now 48! All those years I could’ve been in his hands, yet didn’t understand FAITH! The saying, “let your faith be biggerthan your fear” is something I tell myself each and every day. I don’t know the Bible, unlike you, but I know fear! My FAITH, the give it over to God was where I stumbled for some many years. I would love to hear your perspective on FAITH. That little word changed my life.
I’m so happy to be receiving your emails. I find myself wishing they were longer.
Lori Jane Jernigan
Thank you for your feedback…I may write a devotional on your question! But for now, let me answer it this way: Faith is a gift from God. It is a noun, not a verb. When we hear the Gospel, God gives us “faith” which is like a pair of glasses that enable us to see the truth. We see the truth—that we are sinners and that Christ died to redeem us from sin. When we choose to repent and believe, we are born again. After we are born again, we must grow. That means we read God’s Word, study it, and obey it. As we grow, we become closer to God, who is love. The Bible says that God is perfect love and this love (presence of God) casts out fear. (1 John) I hope this helps!
Feel free to share the devotional links with others!
This was a great explanation for me about Faith!
I thought I knew what love was until my husband broke my heart and after that I thought what does love mean you hear it everywhere on the internet on Facebook Twitter everywhere her basis love you what does love mean and I want to love God with all my heart and soul but I’m not sure I know how. don’t get me wrong I turned to God every single day every minute I thank him for everything he is with me always he never lets me down but I feel like I let him down because I don’t know if I’m loving the right way or how to love him and to show him my love except for not sinning which I don’t try to send but I’m a human so I know I send sometimes I try to walk the walk he wants me to I don’t just talk it I think it’s better to show it but I still don’t know what love is?!
God is the source of true love. The way we experience it is to love Him; which Jesus said is through obedience to His Word. The more we read about Him and surrender to Him, the closer we get to Him. It’s a process. Love in its greatest essence is selflessness. I’ve written many devotionals about love and the website is searchable so you can find them. 🙂
just asking I knew when I got saved that everything wouldn’t be perfect for me but I’ve had chronic pain in my head for 42 plus years, no cure just pills, I also have skin cancer but it’s only basal cell kind of got it under control, also I broke my back three times, my ribs six times, both wrists, my neck, a few fingers broke my neck, got divorced at after 40 plus years of marriage her choice, my son thinks I’m first national Bank, and his ex will not let me see my grandkids, that ought to be enough today.
God is so powerful that He takes evil and works it against itself. What a privilege to have a great story of His grace and mercy through your life!
I needed to hear this.
Me too! Isn’t God so good to reveal exactly what we need from His Word??? Have a blessed day!