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Next Steps – Day 6

 Next Steps

A 30-DAY GUIDE FOR NEW BELIEVERS
by JOHN D. BECKETT
DAY 6 LOVING GOD
How do I respond to God?From the moment we begin to grasp just how much God loves us, a deep desire wells up within us to love Him in return. Suppose as you were walking in a dense forest, you strayed off the path and lost your way. Night falls and it becomes dark and cold. You have no food or water. Danger lurks from forest animals. You frantically stumble ahead in the darkness, with no sense of direction. Fear gnaws at you: “I may never make it back to safety.”

Just as all hope is fading, your frantic eyes see a dim light in the distance. Suddenly you realize, “Someone is searching for me!” The light grows brighter. It’s coming your way. You call out, “Here I am!” The reply comes back: “Keep calling!” Moments later your rescuer appears in the unmistakable uniform of a forest ranger — one who knows the deep woods and the way home. By the dim light, you study his kind and fatherly face. Steadily he leads you back. As the ranger delivers you to your doorstep, he says, “You’re safe now.” In sheer relief you respond in the only way you can — with profound gratitude. “How can I ever repay you?” you ask, knowing no payment could ever suffice.

In the very same way our heavenly Father has rescued us. Our condition was more desperate than we could ever know. We couldn’t make it on our own. We were groping frantically in complete darkness when He came and personally guided us home. He redeemed us from deadly peril.
Perhaps the Apostle John had such a sense of gratitude when he declared, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It would not be unusual for you to be harboring distorted images of what your heavenly Father is like. I’ve had many false images myself — at different times a “higher power” or a stern judge to be feared. But once I saw His unconditional love for me, a love unaffected by who I was and all I had done, my heart was able to say, “Father, I love you.” Amazingly, God not only loves us — He actually created us so we can love Him in return.How deeply should we love God? Jesus, who knew the Father intimately, said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). All our faculties come into play. “All” leaves nothing out. Loving the Father to that degree continues to stretch me, for it means giving all that I am to the One who gave His all for me.

My heart swells — and I believe so does God’s — when I spontaneously lavish my love upon Him, expressing my affection and gratitude to Him.

Key Scripture At that time you were without Christ … having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:12,13).
Key Thought I will let these words come easily and often: “Lord, I love You.”
 
Copyright © 2006 by John D. Beckett

“Just as all hope is fading…” Do you realize – He comes, or sends someone, to help us? He always assists us, loves us, and gives us a way out.
(1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.) His love is so great for us, He will protect us when needed!

Check out this other devotion from InTouch.org (Early Light) to see how He helps us and changes us to understand from the inside out!

The Holy Spirit: Our Teacher

The Roles of the Holy Spirit

Enjoy, share any thoughts or other Scripture’s on your heart…
Be Blessed, HL

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