// Lynette Hagin
"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."
—Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
WHEN YOU HEAR the word "love," what are your first thoughts? As I was meditating on what to write this month, the word "love" dropped in my heart. The next thing that came to me was the first scripture that probably most of us were taught and memorized, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Honestly, that scripture had not come to my mind in a while. But as I recited it over and over, I got "chill bumps" thinking about the vast love God has for humanity. When man messed up so badly, God loved His creation so much that He said, "I will send My one and only Son as a sacrifice to redeem mankind." God does not love just certain groups, races, or nations. And His love is not exclusively for Christians. Our Heavenly Father loves everybody.
Romans 5:7–8 (NLT) says, "Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."
How could anyone doubt God's love for them? How could anyone not desire to accept Christ as their Savior? God's love provided a bridge from death to life. If you have never accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do as Romans 10:9–10 (NLT '07) tells us, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved."
Just pray this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is your Son and that He died on the cross for my sins. I ask you to come into my life and be my Lord and Saviour. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
God wants us to live a good life, an abundant life. In fact, Jesus declared in John 10:10 (NLT), "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." Satan is the destroyer of life; Christ is the deliverer.
Unfortunately when things do not go as expected, instead of realizing the enemy's ploy, Christians sometime question God's love for them. Some even blame Him for the circumstances they are experiencing. Peter warned us to "Stay alert! Watch out for your enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith" (1 Peter 5:8–9 NLT).
We should return the love that God has shown us by placing Him first in our lives. One time a Pharisee asked Jesus, " 'Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?' Jesus replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself' " (Matt. 22:36–39 NLT).
When you love someone you want to be around them all the time. In marriage, our love for our spouse should increase over the years. The same should be true with the Lord. Our love for Him should increase the longer we have been saved.
I am saddened by the fact that God can take a back burner to everything we have going on in our lives. If time permits, we go to church. If time permits, we pray and read our Bible. Those are the wrong thoughts. Going to church, praying, and reading our Bible should be our number one priority.
I encourage you to stir up the love you had for the Lord when you first accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. When you do, you will find that it will be well for you, and life will have a new meaning.