Deuteronomy 4:20, “The Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be his people.”
OUT OF BITTERNESS INTO LOVE
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
God is love. He loves you with an everlasting love. He has called you into love. The life of Christ in you is a life of love. Live it. Share it. Give it – even when it is against every inclination within you to do so. Love extravagantly.
This love forgives over and over again. This love is patient. It is kind. It is not jealous. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable. It keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It rejoices in the truth, but not evil. It never gives up. It never loses faith. It always hopes. It endures through every circumstance. This love is your life because it is Christ’s love in you.
It is not dependant on your love which runs out easily. It’s easy to love when people love you. It’s only Christ’s love in you that can continue loving when you are hurt, scoffed at and rejected.
“I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 The Message)
“Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:2 The Message)
OUT OF DESPAIR AND INTO JOY
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lo9rd, that he might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)
You no longer have to get your joy from doing special things or being entertained as you did in the old life. You already have joy. It is in you.
Once again, this joy is not dependant on circumstances. It is separate from circumstances. This joy does not rely on having to feel happy. Anyone can feel happy when everything is going great. But life is not always great. Life can be hard, difficult and hurtful.
This joy is Christ Himself. It is His joy in you. He is joy. He is exceeding joy. This joy is unspeakable and full of glory. No man, no circumstance, no hardship or even suffering can take it from you.
Don’t hide it. Don’t bury it. Live joy. Smile with joy. Laugh with joy. Bubble over with joy. Give joy to you family. Give joy to all you meet.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh Lord, I thank you that I am not dependant upon my life and my joy which fades quickly. I thank you for your life of love and joy which is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus I come to Thee.
Scripture references referred to in this devotion about love:
Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 5:5.
Scripture references to look up about living a life of joy:
Deuteronomy 26:11; Nehemiah 8:19
Psalm 5:11; 16:11; 28:7; 30:5; 32:11; 33:21; 35:9; 32:11; 40:16; 43:4; 51:12; 68:3-4; 70:4; 89:15-16; 90:14; 97:12; 105:3, 43; 113:9; 118:15, 24; 126:5-6; 132:9, 16; 149:2
Ecclesiastes 2:26a; Isaiah 12:3; 25:9; 29:19; 35:10; 51:11; 55:12; 61:10; 65:14a, 18; Jeremiah 31:13; Habakkuk 3:17-18
Luke 10:20; John 15:11; 16:20-22, 24; 1713; Acts 2:28; 13:52; 20:23-24; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 6:10a; 7:4c; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 3:3; 4:4; Colossians 1:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Hebrews 3:6; 12:2; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; 4:12-14.