Seeds of Promise Devotionals by Shenica Graham
Devotional: Love In Spite Of
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Memory Verse: “60 Nevertheless, I will [earnestly] remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant.” (Ezekiel 16:60 (AMP)).
58 You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your [idolatrous] abominations, says the Lord. 59 Yes, thus says the Lord God: I will even deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant; (Ezekiel 16:58-59 (AMP)). This word came to Israelites after they had greatly offended God in worshipping idols with much lewd behavior.
In spite of all things done to spite God, He loves the world in spite of itself (John 3:16). If we fall in our quest to walk after Him, it is important to remember that whom the LORD loves, He chastens (II Samuel 7:14). If He had no care for our restoration, He would allow us to keep sinking, indefinitely swallowing up our being in an abyss far from Him, without making any effort to re-call our broken vessel. This is not the way of the God who called us from our youth. He attempts to bring us to His handiwork once more, a place of recovery.
6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. 12 So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, 13 And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured (Hebrews 12:6-13 (AMP)).
You have been bought with a price – not half, but full-price. We have been built unto perfection, fit for the King. We belong to the LORD God Almighty. He made a great investment in us. He does not throw us away beloved. If we feel far from Him, the enemy wants to frame our emotion as evidence that God has forsaken us. Override that with this reality,
“If God did not want you, you would not even have a thought about Him.” No one can come to God unless he or she is first drawn to God by God. That inclination to wonder is Him knocking at the door (Revelation 3:20).
God reaches out even after those who walk away, seeing us as more than strangers in a crowd, but as sheep from the fold after whom He seeks. You may recall that the sheep which left the flock was restored to the fold, but he (or she) was different – his(or her) legs were broken. If and when we walk away from God – no matter why, we may not be whole when we return to Him – but God is a God of restoration. He can heal even that brokenness that results from our disconnection from Him as our source. He is a God of new things (II Corinthians 5:17).
25 So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking [to you now]… (Hebrews 12:25 (AMP)).