Dedicated Love – Zoe Devotional #4

by Morgan Stephens

 

Spiritual disciplines aren’t things I embrace to get God to love me more; they’re things I embrace to help me love God more.

 

A common misconception about the conversation around spiritual disciplines is that “they are just things someone tells me to do so that God will love me.”

 

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth!

 

Because of the perfect life of Jesus Christ, His terrible death, and His glorious resurrection, we can know, for certain, forever, that God loves us.

 

He has made the first move; He has freely offered grace in abundance.

 

The question now is: as a person, made in His image, and re-made by His Spirit, how can I grow in and experience more fully and deeply that love and grace?

 

Are we just passive participants in our ongoing Christian growth and transformation?

 

Far from it: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Paul writes (Philippians 2:12)!

 

In other words, do something because you know you have already been saved and reconciled.

 

My wife, Carrie, and I were married twenty-two years ago. We both made pledges of loyalty and faithfulness to one another. However, since that beautiful day at the altar in Southern California in the orange garden at Cal State Fullerton, many difficult days have come and gone, and the experience we call “life” constantly threatens to erode those promises and diminish that loyalty.

 

How do we continually recapture those feelings of love, the kind that sustain a lifetime of relationship?

 

By committing ourselves—one could say “disciplining” ourselves—to spending focused time and dedicated activities together.

 

We say no to other things (and other people) for the purpose of saying yes to growth in our covenant love.

 

We don’t embrace “dating” one another to get the other to love us more; we embrace “dating” to help us love the other more, and to continually experience the love we have sworn to be faithful to.

 

Today, this week, allow me to encourage you to press forward and be faithful in the practices you have chosen that create a special space for God’s love to meet you in a fresh way.

 

God doesn’t love us more as we do; but we just might experience His love in a new way as we do. 

 

God is the most enjoyable Being in the universe; let’s allow Him space to be that to us.

 

Would you pray this:

God, help me today to experience the great love you have for me in a new way? You promised to draw near to me as I draw near to you, and I take you at your word this day, right now.

 

God…I love you.

 

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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