Worship Devotions

Dear Lord, HOW HAVE YOU LOVED ME?!

"Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." ~Jeremiah 31:3

You know how it goes – we love the Lord and worship Him and declare that He is good. But when things take a turn for the worst, we turn and rail against God and blame Him and question Him. Has that ever been you? It’s been me! Thank the Lord He is so understanding, long-suffering, gracious, slow to anger and merciful! In the book of Malachi , the Lord very lovingly expresses His love for His people. “I have loved you,” says the Lord (Malachi 1:2). How beautiful! But how do God’s people respond?

Here’s a mini-history lesson: At this point in time, the temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt by Nehemiah and a form of worship had been restored, but much was still lacking in relationship between the Lord and His people. Worship had become routine. The priesthood had become corrupt. Divorce was rampant, tithing had been neglected. The people had a semblance of godliness yet  it was a sham. They were not living under God’s blessing because they were half-hearted in their worship and neglectful of the principles God had given them to live by. However, they blamed God for their troubles, refusing to examine themselves.

We cry out to God in our pain: How have You loved us?! and we forget all the times we saw His unchanging goodness, His mighty works, the answered prayers, the needs met, the times of plenty and our many victories.

I have loved you,” says the Lord. The people replied: How have You loved us?! This was God’s people crying out in their indignation, “Prove it to me!” Yet their entire history is filled with evidence of the love of God from their exodus to their many deliverances from and victories over their enemies. Their own choices put them into trouble and set them apart from God yet He continually rescued them, drew them close, provided, guided, sheltered, healed, spoke and He never stopped. So many times we do the same thing, don’t we? We cry out to God in our pain: How have You loved us?! and we forget all the times we saw His unchanging goodness, His mighty works, the answered prayers, the needs met, the times of plenty and our many victories. God is GOOD and we worship Him not because life is good, but because GOD is good! Let today’s worship be a reflection of what your spirit knows – Oh how He has loved us!

Thought for today

The Lord has appeared… saying: Indeed, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3) The Lord desires your heart. He wants to come close, but you must invite Him. God is Light and is repelled by darkness and sin, but you don’t have to be perfect. Because of Jesus Christ, you are counted as worthy and righteous. The Lord has loved you. He has proven that and He is willing to remind you if you forget. If you find yourself crying out: How have You loved me?! ask God to show you, to bring to your memory the times He proved His love to you, to your family. “I will remember the years at the right hand of the Most High”, the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 77:10. In Malachi, the Lord made a point to restore worship back into order first. Why? Because He wants to connect with you. He loves you. That’s why I worship!

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