Devotional 5 - "Having Everything"


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I heard a verse the other day and it mentally stopped me.  Has that ever happened to you?  I know that I have read it many times before.  I even have it underlined in my Bible.  But, God used that moment in time to put the brakes on my simple cares and remind me of a HUGE truth.  

Grab your Bible or read with me below a passage from 1 John 4:7-21

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

I want to snatch your mind at the beginning of this very new week by having you focus on verse 12.  It's very powerful and hopefully it will stay with you in the moments and days ahead.

12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
(Again...)
No one has ever seen God

Now, you might be saying to yourself, "Charity...I'm pretty sure I've always known that no one has ever seen God!  Why is that so important?"
I'm so glad you asked!  Let me share what stood out to me from that phrase unlike it never has before.
I teach the toddlers at my church.  I love those kids!  I know, I know, it's not for everyone and I totally respect that!  I'll trade a teen for a two-year-old ANY day!  God has just given me a heart for that age group.  
One thing that we talk about quite often is this idea of the "Invisible God".  I mean, you can't fool kids.  You may be a believer and walking around not needing to see God to be able to pray and trust in Him but kids usually JUST DON'T GET IT!  We are praying to who?  Who loves us?  Who is helping me?  Who am I sharing my toys for? 
Why can't I see Him?
You have no idea how much I wish, for their little sakes, that God could become visible for just one class.  Those babies are easy!  They'd just need one visit.  One hug.  One encounter with true love and they would buy it hook, line and sinker!
This is also a problem for many women that I have talked to in my ministry.  Especially, the hurting ones.   The depressed ones.  The ones that are grieving.  Many have said, "If I could just see God and get a hug from Him-it would make all the difference."  
I can't disagree.  It would be amazing because frankly, it would be "everything".  And we relentlessly want "everything" in this life.  Less never seems like enough, right?
And that is where the verse stopped me....
Remember, it said:
No one has ever seen God
and then it said:
"but"
Oh, such a tiny word.  Just three letters. But, there's something very important in that "but"...
You see, God is acknowledging what most of us know and believe.  No one has ever seen God.  We know from scripture that many saw and walked with Jesus.  Moses got a glimpse of the backside of God.  But, no one...not one person...has looked at His face.  Here on our planet, no one has ever gotten "everything", according to our earthly economies. 
No one has ever seen God
I love it when God does that.  When He acknowledges the obvious to us.  I like to think that it's not just for our Bible knowledge but it's also to whisper to us, "Daughter, I'm invisible.  I know it's hard for you.  I know you want more.  I know it doesn't seem like enough but what you don't realize is....it can be everything."  
And there we find the "but" in our text!  Let's read on....
12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Amazing.  In my layman's terms:
"God is invisible...but, if we simply love each other, God actually lives in us and all that He is becomes "everything" in us."
I've learned through the years that loving one another is very important.  It's not a suggestion-it's the rule, right?  But how powerful is that verse that lets us know that when we obediently love one another- we get "everything".
When we love one another, we also give someone "everything".  We give people who are clueless about our invisible God, a visible glimpse of "everything".
Every act of forgiveness, generosity, patience...every meal made or diaper changed or errand ran...every time you invest in someone's messy life or sacrifice time to serve...every hug, word of encouragement and listening ear...every smile, every "Good Morning", every selfless act for a stranger or even more, an enemy....
...makes the invisible God, visible to someone.  It exposes them to what it is like to truly have "everything"-which is exactly what everyone is searching for. 
If you fail in anything this week, let it not be in your love for each other.  Make it priority #1 for each day.  It is a supernatural choice that gives to yourself and reveals to others full satisfaction in our invisible God, alone.
Let me know the opportunities you've had to love on people this week.  I want to celebrate those victories with you!
(You can also let me know if you're having trouble loving people this week!  I would love to pray for or with you!)
See you on Wednesday!
Charity  








Comments

  1. As I am mostly confined during this time....I have found so much joy in texting to a friend l have never met...Dee has cancer, please pray for her...I have seem her respond to this invisible God. What great power He has! How powerful His Word is! I look forward to sharing a cup of coffee with her, but how wonderful it is that He is with her, when no one else can be.

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