Week 6, Day 1: Loving


By Dan Weyerhaeuser, Senior Pastor

Welcome back to our “Behold Your God” devotions!

I was grateful to spend the month of December dwelling on the incarnation of Christ and how we respond, including spending less on what we don’t need so that we can give more to those who truly need as an expression of loving everyone while we worship Christ fully.

Before we begin, if you (or your family or friends) had a significant experience with the Advent Conspiracy practices, could you capture the story briefly and send it to me? I would love to hear how God was at work! (danw@lakeland.org)

Here’s what we’ve said: The first great need of God’s people every day is to behold our God. We have seen that He is incomparable, holy, unchanging (and therefore faithful), everywhere, and that HE is the One who came close. Now we begin looking at what a close relationship with Him is like, beginning with His love.

Begin by clearing distractions and focusing upon the Lord! Take several minutes (by which I mean several minutes, not seconds). Remember He is with you.

As you are getting still, do issues cry out for your attention in your thoughts? These are distractions to your time with Jesus. One by one, turn that matter over the Jesus. Tell Him, “Lord, I hand this issue to You. Would you handle it for now while I meet with you.” Do this until you’ve given Him everything.

Ask Him to speak by His Spirit through His Word to your soul.

Read 1 John 4:16.

  • The Bible tells us that “God is love.” What does this mean?
  • How would it be different if John had written “Love is God?”
  • How would it have been different if John had written, “God has love?”

Read 1 John 4:9-10. What is love, according to these verses?

  • Love seems to be giving yourself to another for their benefit. How did Jesus “love you?” Did He give you this love because of something about you?

Take time to speak with Him about this.

In 1 John 4:16, John says “And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us.” In the New Testament, “know” is to experience personal love. To “believe” is to trust with your future. Therefore John says, “We have come to know [experientially] and believe [trust for the future] the love that God has for us. Does this describe you? Would you like it to? Ask Him to help you know and believe His love!

As you conclude: What is one truth about God from this text you can take through your day? How can you remember it?

Can you think of two people you will see today who don’t yet know the joy of Christ? Take a moment and pray for both of them, that God’s Spirit would give them new birth. Then watch for how He brings you two together.

Go spend your day with the God Who loves you so much He gave Himself to you for your benefit!

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