Refreshed by God's Love

Intentionally hurting a person means you hurt the heart of God

Refreshed by God’s Love
Grasping God’s Love – Part III

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

Key Verse: Ephesians 3:18
[I pray that you] may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

Yesterday’s devotional concluded that since God made us in His image, God’s love for us has several levels just like our love for our children. Let’s look at those levels.

John 3:16 describes the first level of God’s love for us and makes clear that God’s love is for every person born into this world. A preacher once said, “You have never looked into the eyes of another individual who isn’t deeply loved by God.”

For those of us who have experienced God’s love on a more personal level through our faith in Christ, this John 3:16 level of love cautions us when we are tempted to treat a person poorly. Know that hurting another person means we hurt God’s heart.

Another level of God’s love is His “unmerited” love. If God loves every person in this world, then His love is not based on good behavior. Theologians call this level of God’s love “prevenient grace”. This love is a persuasive love that comes from our Father’s heart and draws people to Himself. The Bible is clear that no one can be saved without this level of love:

“For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.” (John 6:44)

Just like the level of love we looked at in yesterday’s devotional, God’s love also comes at a level we can call “tough” love. The Bible defines this level of love:

For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? (Hebrews 12:6-7 NLT)

Just three verses later, find the good news of this “tough” love:

For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (Hebrews 12:10-11 NLT)

Join me in thanking God for His marvelous love for us!

Father, I praise You for all levels of Your love for me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.

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