Our Journey Online with Dr. James MacDonald Devotionals

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The Real Reason God Loves You

Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in (Isaiah 40:21–22, ESV)?

Imagine a summer night, sitting on the deck with family and friends. Low in the background is the familiar hum of grasshoppers. How much do grasshoppers in the lawn affect your evening? Not much—they hardly even register. Isaiah likens grasshoppers to the entire human race before God and His awesome purposes (40:22).

While God sits, stretches, andspreads—the powerful verbs Isaiah uses to describe His effortless, universe-shaping work—we squeak, like a pack of tiny grasshoppers hidden in the grass. That’s a healthy dose of perspective. We might envision ourselves as critical to the Lord’s plan, but we aren’t. He doesn’t need us. He doesn’t need anyone.

When you face that sobering truth, your natural response might be, “Don’t I matter at all to God?” That’s not the point. The point is that God loves you because He chooses to.

Get rid of the twisted thinking that God loves you because He saw something in you that attracted Him. While that may be how human relationships work, don’t project those motives onto the Lord. God loves you because He chooses to.

At first that feels hard to swallow. We might think, I want God to care for me because He really likes me. But if He only loves us because of who we are, then we have to lie to ourselves about who we are in order to earn His love. We have to see ourselves as good and worthy, full of redeeming and admirable qualities. The Bible assures us we aren’t good (Psalm 14:3), and our “good deeds” don’t impress God (Isaiah 64:6). He doesn’t love us any more—or any less—because of who we are or what we do. He loves us simply because in His mercy He chooses to.

How freeing! There’s no risk of losing God’s love. You can’t forfeit His love because of who you are, no matter how corrupt your heart. You’re not removed from His love because of what you’ve done, no matter how vile your sins. You can never step outside the circle of God’s love, no matter who you are or what you do—because it’s not about you; it’s about Him.

Let’s humbly change our perspectives. This may need to be a daily exercise so you don’t default to your natural way of thinking. Remind yourself of these truths: I am loved because God loves me. What’s good in me is Christ in me. Stop worrying about your performance, constantly trying to prove to God, to yourself, or to others how good and worthy you are.

Only then will you discover the freedom to love God more fully, because you understand how little any of us deserve His love. And only then will you find the freedom to love others more freely, because you are simply passing on what you’ve freely received.

Journal

Many of us subconsciously try to perform for God and others. How do you see that in yourself?

God loves you unconditionally, simply because He chooses to. How does that truth change the way you treat God? And others?

Pray

God of all grace, thank You for choosing to love me and for reminding me I can stop trying to earn Your love. I can never be good enough or do enough good things to impress You. When I’m honest I see that I’m small, sinful, and weak. And when I realize how much You’ve forgiven me, my love for You grows. Help me to live in the freedom of grace, accepting that You love me no matter what. Just as I have freely received Your grace, help me freely give grace to others—all because of Jesus, in whose name I pray, amen.

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.

About Our Journey Online with Dr. James MacDonald

Learn all about Christianity at Christianity.com with rich, theological articles, video, and audio focused on the life of Jesus Christ, Bible Study, the Christian church, and Christian living for families. Grow in your faith and walk with Christ as you read about the history of Christianity, salvation, evangelism and discipleship. Use free daily devotionals from your favorite pastors, authors, and speakers as a way to spend daily quiet time with God. Discover how devotions can help you make postive changes in your life toward living out the promises of God. Christianity.com also offers free online Bible study tools with over 30 translations and a library of commentaries, concordances, lexicons, and more for you to highlight, take notes in, and bookmark for studying the Word!

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