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Greatest Affection - A Devotion

Greatest Affection
Greatest Affection

Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Recently I was asked the question, “Why is God mad at me?” followed by “Why does He hate me so much?” Obviously the outcry of heartache in the midst of a pity party of epic proportions nevertheless such inquiries brought great sadness to my heart. I hate when people ask me why God “gave” my son cancer or why did He “allow” him to suffer like this. God did not give my son a disease nor did He allow the enemy to attack him. Sin is rampant in the world in which we live. Sin produced a curse that Jesus Christ came to reverse. However, many claim God’s Divinity in suffering and sorrow but give Him no glory for the good things in life. They imagine that God is out to get them punishing them for their inability to do what is right. This is not God. This is not His Character. We credit the devil with making us do things and then discredit the Lord by insinuating that He is waiting to clobber us when we fail. If you have asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, the power of sin was immediately broken in your life. The enemy of your soul has no power over you. In the same respect, Jesus did not come to judge and condemn you but rather show you just how much God (the Father) loves you. God loves you. We must accept this great affection and understand that there is nothing we could ever do to earn His Love. We must all come to know that there is nothing that we can do to separate us from His Love either. He loved us first. He loves us last. He loves us always. I set out to prove the benefits of setting our affection on God but what I have discovered is that He doesn’t give me a chance because He is always pouring out His Love on me.

Numbers 23:19-20 (NKJV)
“God is not a man, that He should lie nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.”

God makes us more than conquerors by His Love. We win in every situation because that is what He planned for us. We do not miss out on His Love because we rebel, turn away, wander, sin or fail. It is all part of His Plan. (Psalm 139:16) When He was transcribing the moments of our life, He did not leave out provision for that shortcoming or near disaster. I was married once before. It was most definitely a disaster. I knew from day one that this was not God’s Will for my life but did it anyway. As the days turned to years, I grew more miserable and more depressed. When the marriage ended, it left me with three of the most awesome blessings that I have ever been given. I regret turning from the Lord but in no way am I sorry for the precious human beings God gave me in the wilderness. God is always working out every detail of our life for good (Romans 8:28) because God loves us first, last and forever. He is not a man moved by emotion but He is filled with deep devotion, unfailing love and great affection for His People. Nothing and no one can every change the way God loves us or then He would be like a man who is capable of lying. But He is not like that, we just do not know the One who loves us well enough to expect from Him what He freely gives according to His Great Love for us. God’s Plan for our life includes a future and hope. It is good. All we must do to have it is to love Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Deuteronomy 5:8-10 (NLT)
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”

One day we were shopping in a popular clothing store. As is our custom, once we hit the door everyone heads in the direction of their department with the excuse they have “nothing to wear” in their burgeoning closets with doors that barely shut. As I caught up with my husband, I noticed him talking to a very attractive woman holding an armload of clothes with a nametag identifying her as an employee. Now I could tell by her expression and the affection in her face for my husband that he was not inquiring as to the whereabouts of the fitting room. As I approached, she hugged him tightly before heading off. I was livid as every hair on the back of my neck stood on end. My husband turned to see my seething face. “Who is she?” hissed from behind clenched teeth as I tried not to explode. A smile exploded on his face when he noticed how irate I was as he explained that they were old high school friends just catching up. I was mad at him for talking to her, I was mad at her for touching him and I was mad at me for being so jealous. I hated the fact that he was giving time and attention to another woman. Where did such a response come from? I am secure in my marriage. My trust in my husband is solid. Yet, something inside of me had no time for what I had just witnessed. The Lord tells us clearly in Deuteronomy that He is a jealous God unwilling to tolerate our affection to other gods. Well, maybe you are thinking I do not worship idols (or any other god). Well, I hate to break it to you but anything you spend more time doing or thinking about more than the Lord becomes your idol. Those things that you cannot give up to know Him more are your gods. Anything that stands between us and closer relationship to God through Jesus Christ is a problem. It does not just affect you but your children and their children. This is how generational curses are produced by our love and affection for anyone or anything more than God! Yet, He is still ready to lavish His Unfailing Love on a thousand generations. How do we experience God’s Love again when we have given all the pieces of our heart to lesser things? God will circumcise our heart to allow for proper healing and so that nothing remains that will keep us from His Love. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NLT)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

“Who is like the Lord in all the earth? Matchless love and beauty, endless worth. Nothing in this world can satisfy. Jesus, you’re the cup that won’t run dry. Your Presence is Heaven to me.” I love this worship song by Israel Houghton. When I began studying affection, it began to play in the background of my mind. In that moment, I began to drift into that place of His Presence. Before I understood the Love of God, I avoided such moments because I evaluated my life from a human point of view becoming so disappointed. But when I finally changed my mind and understanding to fully acknowledge and accept the Love that God has for me rather than trying to build my love for Him – He got me. Right there on the spot, when I realized that Jesus Christ died to make a way for God’s Love to reach me rather than to give me a second chance to “earn” it, I became overwhelmed by the revelation that God loves me. He has deep devotion and love born of true affection that is unchanging and irreversible no matter how far I fall – His Love will pick me up because the affection that I have for Him is not my own but rather born of His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s Seal on our heart that keeps us to the day of redemption. He guarantees all that God has promised me is now my inheritance once more – not because I earned it – but through the Love of God and acceptance of Jesus Christ it is a gift from my Father. (Ephesians 1:14)

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

You are the “elect of God”. This means that He chose to love you and set His Affection upon you. He gave us His Spirit to seal the deal so to speak. The Holy Spirit symbolizes the broken curse that once prevailed in our life. (Romans 8:12-17) It is the seal on our heart that warns the enemy that he is about to fail. When asked what the greatest commandment was the Lord gave the religious leader two. First, we are to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind and body. Secondly, to love others as ourselves. (Mark 12:29-31) This love for Jesus is all-consuming. If we begin to transition our heart representative of our love, our soul which is our beliefs, our mind including every single thought and our body which is everything that we do to represent the deep love and affection that we have been given by giving it back to the Lord, then we will be transformed. We must be emptied to be made full. We must be broken to be healed. We must be isolate to be consecrated once again. Thankfulness is the product of contentment and satisfaction. Only Jesus can create such a lifestyle. The Lord identifies love as the bond of perfection. You don’t have to be perfect. But love will be perfected in us when we give our life to Jesus. We will fail but He will prevail. We will fall short but the Lord will carry us the rest of the way. We will wonder why until the Lord reveals His Glory to us. You are not perfect. But His Love is perfect. Perfect love casts out all fear. (I John 4:18)

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The word affection means a fond attachment, devotion or love. It is the state of being affected. Affected means to act upon or influenced by something. Affect is to act upon, produce an effect or change. It is to impress the mind or move feelings. With this in mind, we look at transformation. If our relationship with Jesus Christ does not promote change and transformation in our life, then it is not a relationship based on love, feeling and devotion. It is all an act and God sees right through it. The Love of God changes us from the inside out. We are transformed by His Glory alive in us. It is inevitable and impossible to love Jesus Christ and not be changed. The Holy Spirit is consummation of God’s Love for us granting freedom to live in His Presence day by day. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) The light affliction that we are going through is our conflicting spirit battling to obtain possession of our heart and soul. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and word of our testimony. What comes out of our mouth is the product of our mind, will and emotions. The trial or test will produce “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of His Glory.” His Glory changes everything. It rights our wrongs. Heals our hearts. Gives us strength to take one more step. His Spirit guides us to this place. The love and affection of Jesus Christ released His Spirit to come into our heart and produce the necessary change to unite us once more. I can do nothing to attain such affection. I cannot even produce it in my life. But God can and will when we surrender our mind, soul and body to Him. (Ephesians 4:21-24)

Romans 8:26-30 (NKJV)
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

I cannot change my life. I cannot remap the course of my destination. My steps are ordered by the Lord. All that I can do is accept the gift of salvation given to me by Jesus Christ because of His Great Affection for me. I must allow His Spirit to operate in my life rather than completely ignoring His Presence that lives in me. I love the Lord so I will avoid those things that might cause me to sin not because I have to but I want to. The love of my husband over the last fifteen years has changed me. There things that I do just to make him happy. My attitude has changed over time. My actions reflect my deep affection and commitment to this man. But my husband did not die for me. There is nothing that he can ever do to prolong my life. He is not perfect and neither am I. Jesus released His Spirit to help me in my weakness. He knows that I am speechless sometimes so His Spirit speaks up from the inside of me. He is My Helper who searches my heart for the good things it is capable of producing while Jesus applies His Blood to those things that I could not stop from doing. He decided before I was born that I would be transformed by His Glory into His Image to receive an inheritance based strictly on love. It would seem that I must learn to love God more and stop trying to work out my own salvation. He call me and justified me so that I could live in His Glory. His Glory is nothing more than being surrounded, captivated and help by His Great Affection for me. He is jealous for me His Grip on me is tighter than death. He love pulled me from the grave. God is love. God loves me. There is no greater affection than this!

Ephesians 2:4-7 (NKJV)
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

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