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devotion

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Why is it human nature to crave affection?

Is a love extravagant gift? Candy hearts? Red roses? Is love three words spoken or the sensation of butterflies in one’s stomach? Or, is love putting your personal convictions aside to prove to someone you care about them more than you care about yourself? Is love a game to be won or a heartbreak to dodge?

What is love and why is it so desperately hard to find?

Too many times people think they have found true love and then discover it was a skewed misrepresentation of love. When a person abuses your vulnerabilities, it is natural to build a bulwark around your heart that will prevent you from future pain.

However, the cry of your heart still desires love. Why?

I think it is because God is relational and He has designed us with the desire to love and to be loved. It is natural to crave affection. True love is boundless and expresses itself in infinite ways because God is love (1 John 4:8).

Allow yourself to be in a constant, amazing journey with God because He will express His admiration by loving you unconditionally.

It is through the love of God that can teach us valuable lessons on how to demonstrate love toward one another. This is why everyone is searching for love. Every. Single. Person.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 beautifully depicts the uncorrupted, pureness of love. It states,

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

If we rearrange these verses and replace certain adjectives with their antonym, this is what it would say:

“Love is not agitated; love is not rude. It should be full of comfort and confidence; Love should always express humility by putting others before themselves and focusing on other people’s ambitions. Love will honor others; it is caring, selfless, and kind. Love is peaceful and calm. It will document your positive traits and accomplishments. Love delights in purity and does not rejoice in dishonesty. It never takes advantage of someone or injures him or her emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Love will always endure.”

So, what is love?

  • Love is honorable.
  • Love is selfless.
  • Love is respectful.
  • Love is a gift.

Basically—Love is worth fighting for. 

John 3:16, encapsulates the pinnacle of God’s limitless love,

“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.”

God has given His life to prove His ardent love and devotion to you. You deserve love!

Prayer: Lord, I have given You so many reasons to stop loving me, but You never have—and You never will. Your love has never failed—and never will. I pray that You will help me emulate Your characteristics in my life. I desire a deeper walk and closer relationship with You and today, I choose to search after You because, I know in You, I will find what everyone is searching for; true love.

Radiance

Focus Verses:

“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:4)

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house,” (Matthew 5:14-15)

The Word of God says that we are the light in this world and that we are to be separated and divided from the darkness. Matthew 5:16 says, “let your light shine.” Even the world recognizes light and darkness as the universal battle between all things good and all things evil.

God is telling us to let our light shine, and not just any light, but a light that is so strong it can only be compared to that of a city. With the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us, we can not only be a light, but we can radiate.

When you look up synonyms for the word radiate you will find the following list; bright, shine, light, dazzle, and illuminate. These words challenge me in so many different areas of my life.

  • Don’t be the typical neighbor. Be different!
  • Don’t be the average co-worker. Be bold!
  • Don’t be the every day stay-at-home mom. Stand out!
  • Don’t be just another sister at church. Be radiant!

The exact opposite of radiant is: darkness, blackness, dim and dull.

Two ways to radiate His light:

1. Recognition. Recognize that Jesus is our source of light. In John 8:12 and I John 1:5, we read that Jesus in the light of the world and that in Him there in no darkness. Psalm 27:1 reminds me that God is my light and my salvation. We need to recognize that all goodness and mercy comes from him. When we’re doing good, flesh likes to take credit. A radiant woman will:

    • Give glory to God
    • Reflect Him
    • Radiate His goodness

2. Separation. In II Corinthians 6:14, the Bible asks a clear question, “What fellowship has light and dark?” Nature itself shows us that there is no fellowship between light and dark. A simple experiment can be done to prove that; go into a dark room and turn on the light. What happens to the dark? Like the light and dark, we are to live a life that is separated. Lines must be drawn that separate our conversations, our outings, meals, friends and choices of entertainment. “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy ” (Leviticus 19:2).

Life Reflection:

Ask yourself: Are the boundaries I put in place that separate me from darkness, evident to nonbelievers? 

 

Our goal as woman of radiance is to reflect Christ. Luke 11:33 makes a clear statement, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, put it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” The scripture is so clear, to do anything else would lack reason.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (I Peter 2:9)

Let your light shine. Be a woman of radiance!

Devotion

Let’s start with defining the word devotion: love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause. Synonyms for the word devotion include: committed, loyal, practice, or an act of fidelity. The opposite of devotion is infidelity and unfaithfulness.

Nowhere in the definition of devotion do we see that it relates to religion. We do however see words within the definition of devotion that relate to relationship.

Devotion is not religion, it is relationship.

The greatest example we have in the natural realm of an act of devotion, is a wedding. More specifically, at the point when the marriage vows are made. We commit our lives to our spouse in front of family, friends, and God, promising to devote our lives to them. The greatest relationship you will ever have in your life is your relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are benefits to committing your life and devoting your life to God. Proverbs 16:3 tells us, “commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” When we choose to commit our lives to God, the Bible says that He will establish our thoughts. Our spouse will offer us comfort and support; be someone to share our joy and victories with, but only God can establish our thoughts. Only He can bring stability and clarity to our mind and give us a firm foundation allowing us to grow in our walk with Him.

Two ways to build a life devoted to God:

1.  Recognition.  We must give God recognition in all areas of our life – career, education, family, finances, relationships, marriage, and ministry. In the Book of Acts, Paul was in Athens and he came upon a statue that the people had erected. “For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD…” (Acts 17:23). If we are going to live a life of devotion to God, we must first be sure that we know who God is.

Devotion to God will require a commitment of our time. Proverbs 31 is a powerful chapter that describes a virtuous woman. Proverbs 31:27 reads, “she looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

You will know who you serve when you know where your time is spent.

Life Reflection:

Make a list of how and where you spend your time:

 

Matthew 6:19-21 tells us that where your treasure is, there is your heart also. We can also read it as a challenge to us saying, where your time is spent, there is your heart also. It is a reasonable argument that people spend time doing the things they love.

2. Separation.  When you become devoted and involved in a new relationship, there is a separation from previous commitments. Acquaintances, hobbies, friends, interests and plans that once controlled your time, now begin to revolve around your new relationship. Living a life devoted to God will bring a natural separation as you grow closer to Him. Matthew 6:24 confirms that we cannot serve two masters and in II Corinthians 6:14-15, the scripture asks the question, “What does a believer and an infidel have in common?”

We devote time and self to God in the following ways:

  • Prayer
  • Attending church activities
  • Fasting
  • Reading the Bible
  • Fellowship
  • Praise and worship
  • Ministry Development

Life Response:

Psalm 1:1-3 describes great blessing and favor when our life is devoted to God first. It describes not just a moment in time with our Savior, but a lifestyle of devotion. The greatest relationship you will ever have in your life is your relationship with your Savior, Jesus Christ!

Submitted by Kini Garcia

Download a .pdf version of this Bible study:

I do not enjoy lazing around the house. I’m a huge fan of the sleeping in thing, but once I’m up I like to get out and do something. As much as I complain about being too busy to function, being on the go is part of my genetic make up and it’s likeky not going to change any time soon.

While being busy is not considered a bad thing, it can become dangerous if you allow it to get in the way of time needed to sit still and focus on the Lord and what kinds of things He may be wanting you to do for His kingdom. Go ahead, be busy, but don’t forgot that quiet time should be an essential part of your day. It keeps us focused!

 

Prayer: Help us to take time out of our day to listen to your voice speak into our lives. Amen.

 

Devotion by Melinda Keays