On day 1 when I first sat down in my room and opened my Bible, I realized that I really didn't know where to begin. So I prayed and asked God to reveal to me more about himself, more about the nature of His love towards me.
A few minutes into my prayer He impressed upon me the these two truths:
2 Corinthians 5:17 " Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has past
away; behold the new has come."
Colossians 1:27 "To them (the Christians) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles
the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
God made it clear to me that to have a deeper understanding of His love I first had to understand how deeply God loved His son, Jesus. I was reminded of God's words about Jesus in Matthew 3: 16-17:
" And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.'"
So I decided to begin my studies in the gospels with a focus on how God showed His love to Jesus.
As I began studying, the first impression I had was that God loves me as much as He loves Christ. I felt Him strongly point this out to me.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:27 that no one can know God except through him and Jesus chooses who will know God. This is something that he freely gives to anyone who accepts Him as their Lord and Savior. Jesus also states that God gives all things to him freely.
Truth #1: God's love towards me is abundant and limitless just as it is towards Jesus.
On another day I was studying Matthew 21: 18-22. This was when Jesus cursed the fig tree to show the disciples that if they had faith in prayer anything was possible.
I wondered how Jesus could have so much faith. He is the son of God so Jesus had, and still has, unfiltered, direct access to God. He experiences God's love in its purest, potent form. And I understood that God freely shared knowledge and understanding of the greatest mysteries and showed Jesus how to utilize that great power.
Truth #2: Through God's love we are given unparalleled access to divine knowledge and understanding on how to utilize that power, even as it applies (but certainly is not limited) to faith.
Another truth I want to share can be found in Matthew chapters 22 and 23. Jesus was speaking strong words to the pharisees. And as I read those chapters I realized that God's love empowered him. It gave Jesus logic that was unbiased, free of emotional influence, and true. It also gave him great courage. No one dared to speak to the pharisees the way Jesus did.
Truth #3: God's love grants me a sane, logical mind and courage to overcome even the most hostile opposition.
I really enjoyed studying the Bible in this way. I am currently in week two of the Valentine Challenge and I look forward to uncovering more truths as God might have them apply to myself.
Admittedly applying these truths towards others was a bit more of a challenge than I expected. And yet I think in some ways I have already been doing so. But during this week I will keep striving to grow and become more like Jesus. God's love will direct me.
How about you? Will you try this challenge for yourself? You might be surprised what God wants to show you about himself! For those of you who are already participating keep it up!
To review the Valentine Challenge simply click the picture on the right column.
God bless you this week and may you know His love more deeply.