Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes)
Dear God, we confess that we have sinned and need Your forgiveness. We want to do things on our own, without You. We have been distracted from Your Word and behave as if Your instructions were vague. We are unworthy of Your grace and undeserving of your forgiveness. We ’ve failed You once again. God, thank You for being merciful. Thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit to guide us. May we experience the Spirit’s presence more clearly every day. Give us the focus to follow Your Word and Your ways. Show us the way to your Kingdom and Your grace. Help us when we’re in trouble and guide us away from the darkness of this world. Show me what you want me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture Reading & Devotional:
1 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
The fact that we are pursued by the Creator of the universe is an unfathomable truth perfectly illustrating the amazing love our heavenly Father has for us. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Those of us who have believed in and accepted the free gift of salvation have been lifted out of the world’s foundation of works-based living and ushered into a new standard of grace. By grace alone we have wonderful, restored relationship with the God who passionately pursues us in every season of life. And by grace alone our lives are now based on the unconditional love of our good Father.
1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” All that God does is love because it is his very nature. Every word of Scripture was authored because he loves us. Every good thing we have in life is only available to us because he loves us. The fact that you and I have air in our lungs is a miraculous demonstration of God’s overwhelming faithfulness. The fact that we can enter into such a depth of relationship with a perfect, holy God reveals his heart to pursue us.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This passage in Revelation is God’s word to the lukewarm church in Laodicea. God doesn’t just knock on the doors of hearts already filled with passion for him. He doesn’t just knock on the doors of the lost. He knocks on the doors of the hearts that are in desperate need of inner revival through his tangible, powerful love. He knocks on the doors of the hearts whose flame has been squelched by the cares and stresses of this world that he might come and reignite passionate communion between our spirit and the Holy Spirit.
The God of heaven and earth is passionately pursuing you right now. No matter how close you are to him, he is knocking on the door of your heart, asking to come in and meet with you once again. He’s not knocking just to fix you. He’s not knocking just to make you do something for him. He simply wants to meet with you. He simply wants to love you.
How you respond to the passionate pursuit of God is totally up to you. There is grace for you today to seek the face of your heavenly Father. There is grace to open up your heart and accept the wonderful gift of encountering God’s presence. There is grace to know and experience the depths of God’s love for you. The question before you is simply this: will you choose today to let God love you?
O Heavenly Father,
I commend my children unto Thee.
Be Thou their God and Father;
and mercifully supply whatever is wanting in me
through frailty or negligence.
Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world,
to resist all solicitations to evil,
whether from within or without;
and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy.
Pour Thy grace into their hearts,
and confirm and multiply in them the gifts of Thy Holy Spirit,
that they may daily grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;
and so, faithfully serving Thee here,
may come to rejoice in Thy presence hereafter.
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)