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Convicted by Love - A Devotion

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Romans 4:20-25 (NLT)
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

If your faith in God was tried in a court of law weighed by a judge and jury, would it convict you? I remember growing up in church thinking about this being absolutely terrified that it could happen. I didn’t want to go to hell. I didn’t want to die. I wanted a better life so I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. But now what? There are some things that will change instantly when we decide to call on the Name of Jesus Christ while others take some time. The words “I believe” should impact our life in some way, shape or form. What we believe defines our attitudes and actions thus revealing our true convictions that come from our heart.

Abraham believed God’s Promise so much so that he never wavered. His faith grew stronger and stronger throughout his long wait to become a natural parent. But during his lifetime, he was reproducing spiritually without even knowing it. His faith would make him not only considered a friend of God but the spiritual father of many. God counted Abraham’s faith in Him as righteousness. On paper this seems easy enough, but when faced with the reality of making a decision to believe in something casts us into perplexity. We want to trust someone or something but such an emotion has been seriously challenged in the world in which we live. Darkness tries to overcome the Light of His Love whispering the futility of faith and hinting of tainted trust. In order for our faith to become valid, it must become our belief. Why didn’t Abraham waver from God? He was fully convinced that God was able to do whatever He promises. Are you?

Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

There is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ. I am going to say this again with a little extra attention to the word “condemnation”. There is no condemnation (accusation, disapproval, judgment, penalty, damnation, doom, restriction) for those who belong to Jesus. Because you belong to Him, you have been given His Life Giving Spirit who has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. You have been fully reconciled to God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. Do you believe it? Do you live like you believe it? No condemnation opens the door to freedom not demonstrated in the church today? We have fallen on hard times in the Body of Christ much like that of Genesis 3:1-7. When the serpent came to the woman, he began to work his way into her head by questioning God and testing her belief in His Word. “Did God really say it?” The enemy then challenged the Truth with a lie. The power is not in his words but whether or not Eve would believe him. She completely fell for it. The woman was convinced and the rest is now history. Compromised faith begins with entertaining the lie. Ignorance allows the enemy to tell us something contrary to God’s Word and we believe it because we just don’t know and understand the Truth about God. We must get to know the God we serve or we will fall for the lie of the enemy every single time. Why? The lie of the enemy seems natural and logical to the human mind. It is more easily accepted by our five senses than that which is discovered by faith. Without God’s Word hidden in our heart, we have nothing to compare it to so it seems valid. The greatest lie that the enemy tells believers is that there is sin too great to be washed away in the Blood of Christ, therefore they have no right to believe God for anything other than condemnation and punishment filling them with remorse and regret keeping them from enjoying the benefits of freedom found in being convicted by His Love.

John 3:16-18 (NLT)
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

Jesus Christ came to save us and set us free from the penalty of our sin that began in Genesis 3. The basis of sin was humanity’s inability to fully trust and believe God at His Word. God sent Jesus to save the world not judge and condemn it. Sin had already done the job. There is NO JUDGMENT against anyone who believes. “The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.” (John 16:9) Ignorance of God’s Word allows the enemy to make us think that God is punishing us every time that we fall down or mess us which is just simply not true. His Overflowing Grace carries us along, picking us up and washing us off when it is required. If God wanted to continue to judge us, then why would He send Jesus Christ? The Law was doing a pretty good job of demonstrating just how sinful and rebellious people really are. The Word of God tells us plainly that by accepting Jesus Christ we are no longer convicted of sin. (Romans 3:21-23) So what are we convicted of? Love!

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.

We must become convinced that nothing can or will ever separate us from the Love of God! the enemy will use every bad situation, extenuating circumstance, and overwhelming problem to try to make us think that God is punishing us, doesn’t love us, has forgotten us or just plain doesn’t care. None of this is true. But you will never know that until the Word is planted deep in your heart and allowed to grow and prosper. The Children of Israel refused to enter the Promised Land and receive God’s Promise because they did not believe that God would care for them. (Psalm 106:24-25) How many times has disbelief kept us from God’s Promise? Every time! Nothing can separate those who believe from the Love of God. You must believe in His Love. The Word of God is essential as a foundation for our faith. It is seed planted in the human heart that when given the opportunity to grow will flourish into prosperity for your life.

Luke 8:11-15 (NLT)
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.”

What is the condition of your heart today? Is it hard and scarred from being broken? Is it rocky cluttered by compromise? Is it thorny with roots of bitterness born of unforgiveness? Is it overcrowded by weeds that represent everything else our heart desires besides the Lord? Repentance softens our heart and prepares it receive His Word. His Word is cultivated by His Spirit. One is always dependent on the other to prosper and grow in our life. God gave us His Spirit when we invited Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior. He knows our weakness. God’s Spirit has been with us from the start. Our faith in Jesus Christ opened the door of our heart so now His Spirit could move from the outside to the inside of our life. (Romans 8:26-30) The Spirit pleads for us so that our sin no longer convicts us as He convinces us of God’s Amazing Love. Why is this important? Our sinful nature remains hostile to God. (Romans 8:5-8) The Power of the Holy Spirit operating in us and through us allows us to overcome such evil with good. It is a full-time job. “Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.” (Colossians 1:22-23) God’s Word and the Holy Spirit are partners in producing conviction in our life. Not condemnation as the enemy might like us to think. Each works to reinforce the fact that God loves us unfailingly, unconditionally and forever.

Romans 14:22-23 (NLT)
You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

True revelation of God’s Love for you will change the convictions that govern our life. It will produce a change not because of fear but the vast capacity of His Love for us. No longer able to remain subject to sin, we strive to do good. No longer afraid of condemnation, we become convicted of love. In Christ, all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. (I Corinthians 10:23) “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” (Romans 14:17-19) Once you are fully convinced of God’s Love and Faithfulness, you will live a convicted life. Your belief system will no longer allow you to sin and hurt your Friend, God. It hurts you heart to hurt His. We become so convinced of His Love that it gushes out of our life into the lives of other people simply because it is too much to contain. “You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” (James 2:22-24)

Hebrews 3:13-14 (NLT)
You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.

One might think that sacrificing a son would be enough to convince people of the seriousness of your intent to love them, but this is not the case. The Love in this world has grown cold and there is no godly passion anymore. What more must God do to convince you of His Love? Faithfulness to the end requires trusting the Lord and being fully convicted of His Love. Do you believe that God loves you? I think we must strive a little more to live like it. God is love. He has decided to share His Love with you. The Lord has removed everything that could ever separate you from God’s Love. It is up to you and I to grow deep roots that firmly attach us to His Love and refuse to ever let go. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:7) “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Ephesians 3:17)

I John 5:4-5 (NLT)
For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

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