This week we’ll spend time stirring up our affections for God through the renewing of our minds. Your mind is the gateway to your affections. What you think is worthy of your affections is what will receive them. So, as we grow in our understanding of God’s overwhelming goodness we will naturally give him our hearts. May you be stirred by the unconditional love of your heavenly Father this week as his perfect nature is revealed to you in greater, more transformative ways.
John 17 is an incredibly significant passage of Scripture for Christians today. Jesus prayed perfectly in accordance with the will of the Father, in submission to him during his time on earth. Therefore, everything Jesus prayed, God will accomplish. Part of the beauty of their oneness is shared desires. In John 17:26, Jesus prays to the Father, “I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Imagine that! Jesus says we can have the same love in us with which God the Father loved Jesus. Think of the magnitude of love the Father has for his Son, and now think about God having that same magnitude of love for you! You are his beloved, his prized possession. Your heavenly Father gave up his own Son to have a personal relationship with you, to be able to pour his vast love out on you.
The Bible describes David as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). He was a man who delighted in God’s love and experienced the joy of his presence throughout various seasons of life. In Psalm 16:5-11 David wrote, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” When I read David’s words I can’t help but desire his joy and security. I am filled with a desire to know that kind of love in my own life. Psalm 16 makes me desire to have God as “my chosen portion,” and I wholeheartedly want to experience “pleasures forevermore.” What about you?
Allow your desires be stirred to experience for yourself the immeasurable love with which God has loved Jesus. Know that it’s not only your desire to experience love, but the desire of your heavenly Father as well (John 17:26). In what areas of your life do you need to “set the Lord always before” you? What areas do you need him to be “at [your] right hand?” In the Lord, there truly are “pleasures forevermore.”
Take time today to simply delight in your God, and allow his presence to flood the dry, weary places of your heart. You are his chosen portion, the apple of his eye. God gave up his only Son for the chance to meet with you right now. Simply open up your heart and delight in the love of your heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on John 17:26. Allow Scripture to give you a better revelation of the depth of God’s love for you.
“That the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:26
2. Where do you need to delight in the love of God today? Where is your life not marked by the fullness of joy David described in Psalm 16?
“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
3. Now simply delight in the love of God for you, the very same love that he has for his Son, Jesus Christ.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Every day is a battle to root yourself in the love of God. But it is a battle worth fighting. It’s a battle waged within the depths of your soul—the fight between what God and the world says matters. When you make more space for God to fill by ridding yourself of the ways of the world, his heart and mind will become your own. What matters to him will begin to matter to you. Keeping his love in perspective will become as natural as breathing. The fullness of relationship with him is meant to be our source, portion, strength and desire. Give way to his loving kindness today, and let the cares of the world go in light of his goodness and grace.
Extended Reading: John 17