Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“So, you think you’re pretty special?” the father asked the child. “Well, you know what? You are!”
God thinks of us the same way. In His eyes we are special and unique in so many ways. He made us in His own image. That’s pretty special don’t you think? We are all God’s children and because of that He loves us without end. No strings attached. He loves us so much that He also disciplines us when the need arises.
Fathers love their children without measure. No matter how big the mistake, the father loves the child anyway. God loves us the same way. He also knows when we sin and He knew that there was no way for us to receive forgiveness for our sins except through the blood of His own son Jesus.
Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s a very special love don’t you think? God sacrificed His own son so that we could be free from our sins. Wow!
Remember. The next time you start feeling as if you are unloved or that no one cares, Jesus is right there whispering in your ear, “I love you so much that I died for you. Take my hand and let’s walk together forever.”
“Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.”—Deuteronomy 8:5
No one likes to be disciplined because it usually involves a degree of pain either emotionally or physically. When we are disciplined by God we scratch our head and wonder why. Suffice it to say God has a reason for it at that moment in time.
God’s word says in Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” declares the Lord. There you have it. God doesn’t expect us to understand. Instead He desires that we remain faithful in our walk with Him no matter what our circumstances might be.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
In other words, when God disciplines us, we are the better for it. The next time you feel the weight of God’s discipline on your life, just realize He is polishing off the rough edges of your life so that you can be a shining example of His love for you.
As we grow in our walk with the Lord, we can be more confident in His protection and love for us. All good things in life are ours if we ask for and live for those things that are God’s will for us.
Meditating on God’s Holy Word daily will reveal insights into Jesus; how we should conduct ourselves; and provide a path to righteousness.
May God add His blessings to your life.
“For the choirmaster. Of the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth is transformed and the mountains are toppled into the depths of the seas.”—Psalm 46:1-2
At some point, you’ve probably been asked why a loving God would allow suffering in the world. Though He is able to stop it, He often doesn’t. And while we can acknowledge seeing Him at work during certain difficult situations, at other times it looks as if nothing is happening despite our many prayers.
We live in a sinful world, so the potential for anguish is great. Sometimes we’re troubled when people are driven by the evil within. Other times the cause is our own weakness or God’s discipline in our life. Still another reason might be persecution or simply the consequence of ignoring good principles. But whatever the origin of our distress, we can be sure that if God allows it, He has a purpose. He may want …
To get our attention. The psalmist realized affliction brought him back within God’s will (Psalm 119:67; Psalm 119:71). In times of distress, we often turn to Him for help.
To develop personal righteousness in us. God wants us to mature, so He will reveal areas of our life that we need to address.
To prune us. John 15:1-2 paints an excellent word picture of how God eliminates attitudes and actions that are not godly or fruit-bearing.
To teach us obedience. Jesus, who always did the Father’s will, is our perfect example (John 4:34; Heb. 5:7-9). As we are conformed to His image, we will increasingly learn to obey God (Rom. 8:29).
God may allow painful seasons in our life. When He does, ask Him to show you how He may be using suffering for your good.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
— Psalm 19:14 NLT
David prayed earlier in Psalm 19 that the Lord would keep him from sinful deeds of all kinds. In the verse above, he takes the issue deeper by asking that the Lord would also keep him from speaking words that are sinful. From David’s point of view, the things that we say are just as capable of being sinful as the deeds we do and we need the help of the Lord to keep from speaking them just as much as we do to keep from doing sinful deeds.
If our words and meditations are free from sin, then they will be pleasing to the Lord. The word translated as “pleasing” is borrowed from the language of the sacrificial system of the old covenant. The animal sacrifices that were brought before the Lord were required to be without defect, so likewise the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts should be without defect. The idea here is that everything we say and think is done before the Lord and should be pleasing to Him as a consequence.
The Lord wants us to be pleasing before Him. He is concerned not only with the deeds we do, but also with the words we say and the thoughts we think.
Today, then, let us ask the Lord to cleanse us, inside and out.
Who is it that finds favor with God? According to Isaiah, the people who find favor with God are the people who “are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). This does not mean that favor is something that can be earned by performing righteous deeds. Rather, it means that favor comes to those whose hearts are right before God. After all, it was Isaiah who also said that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). If favor with God depended upon perfect obedience to God’s will and ways, then none of us would have very much favor with Him at all.
The person whose heart is right before God is a person who desires to walk in steadfast love. “Steadfast love,” in our verses for today, refers to our relationship to God and to other people. Deuteronomy 6:5 tells us that “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” and Leviticus 19:18 says “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to love Him and His people. We may not always love as we should, but it will be the desire of our hearts. The person who has a heart for love receives God’s favor and the favor of people as well.
Further, the person whose heart is right before God will be a person who desires to walk in faithfulness. “Faithfulness” also refers to our relationship to God and to other people. The faithful person stands firm when others give up. They do not quit on God or other people. When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to remain faithful to Him and to His people. We may not always be as faithful as we should, but it will be the desire of our hearts. The person who has a heart for faithfulness receives God’s favor and the favor of people as well.
Let steadfast love and faithfulness rule the course of your life. People will look upon you with favor and so will God.
Do you want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection? To know the power of Christ’s resurrection does not refer primarily to the resurrection of our bodies that will occur when Christ returns, but to our spiritual resurrection from the deadness of sin into the life of righteousness through Christ. This resurrection power is a spiritual power that enables Christians to live and walk in newness of life in every area of life. We used to be spiritually dead, but now we are spiritually alive (Colossians 2:13).
You have not just been buried with Christ. You have also been raised with Him. Today, rise up through the newness of life you have in Him, no matter what comes your way.