Encouragement for Today 1st February 2023
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY’S PENDING MESSAGE
Encouragement for today February 1, 2023 devotional, Wednesday message (Proverbs31 ministries). As you study today’s devotional, keep this in mind; “Work hard so that you can present yourself to God and receive His approval. Be a good worker, one who need not be ashamed, and who explains the word of truth correctly.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)
God’s pursuit of us
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)
Encouragement for today February 1, 2023 MESSAGE
“God is a timeless romantic” were the words of the beloved Bible teacher at a women-only retreat.
Her words surprised me and spoke to my heart. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic – a sucker for rom-coms, Christmas movies on Lifetime, and happy endings.
Growing up in the Church, I have often heard God described as Father, Friend, Pioneer, and Wonderful Counselor, to name a few. Those names were easy to accept as true, but “romantic” was a bit hard to embrace.
I had reserved the word “romance” for men on white horses killing bad guys and rescuing damsels in distress. Romantics were Prince Charmings in a tuxedo, holding roses in one hand and chocolates in the other. When I imagined a romantic, I didn’t imagine God.
But over the course of the weekend retreat, God began to expand my understanding of romance. This word is not limited to novels and dating. This word encompasses God’s tremendous love and relentless pursuit of mankind. I saw it all over Scripture.
God persecuted Adam and Eve after they sinned in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3)
God persecuted Hagar as she ran away from her problems. (Genesis 16)
God pursued Elijah when he ran away from Ahab and Jezebel. (1 Kings 18-19)
God persecuted Paul on the way to Damascus. (Acts 9)
And God follows us.
Motivated by inexplicable love, God pursues humanity. Regardless of our state of life—married, single, dating, living for God, or running away from Him—God seeks to win the affection of our hearts by relentlessly and faithfully pursuing us.
We see a clear presentation of this striving in our key verse, John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”
The love that John is referring to in this scripture is agape Love that is sacrificial and considered the highest form of love there is. This love was costly to God, but He pursued us through the radical act of sacrificing His Son. God’s love is unmatched and far greater than any box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers.
And even more amazing is that God showed His lavish and sacrificial love when we were sinners. He haunted us while we weren’t thinking about him. His deeds for us dwarf the man on the white horse. Once and for all, God bravely saved mankind from the spiritual villain Satan when we were in need.
But God’s pursuit of us did not end with the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ. Throughout our lives He will continue to pursue us with His inexplicable love.
If you long to be loved and persecuted, may this be an encouragement: you are the object of God’s affection. He has pursued you relentlessly and will continue to do so.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank you for following me. Keep reminding me of your unwavering love for all my days. Help me to rest in the fact that I am exceedingly loved by You. In the name of Jesus, amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Married or single, every woman should know that God already loves and persecutes her. Pre-order the new book by Kia Stephens, Overcoming Father’s Wounds: Exchanging Your Pain for God’s Perfect Loveand learn more about God’s unrelenting love for you.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Romans 5:8, “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (KJV)
How has God persecuted you? How does this pursuit encourage you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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