WEEK 1: Love
When I was in Grade 9, I was invited to attend a sports evening at a youth group in Durban by some friends from school. During one worship song, the Lord prompted me to accept His gift of salvation. As I read the words being projected onto the white screen, His love pierced my heart and He showed me how much I was worth to Him.
God gave me something that night – something that I never thought was possible: perfect, limitless, unconditional, unwavering, everlasting, all-consuming, undiluted, extravagant LOVE.
God took me in His arms and embraced me. Despite my shame, despite my having nothing to offer Him in return, despite my being a broken, lost and hurting young boy, He loved me. I didn’t deserve His love. I didn’t deserve His forgiveness. I didn’t deserve His grace or mercy.
Yet despite all this, I knew that He loved me – and still does – because He chooses to. He chooses to love me because He wants to. And He wants to love me because that’s just who He is. I am convinced that Paul was passionately in love with the God of love and that he used this passion to inspire others to fall in love with God too. Consider Romans 8:35-39 (NLT):
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For Your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Prayer Points: Thank the Lord for His faithful love. Thank Him for His grace and mercy. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness and patience. Thank Him for sending His Son to die so that you might live.