Devotional for Saturday and Sunday September 5-6

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. I will be found by you – this is the Lord’s declaration …” Jeremiah 29:12-14 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God will love you back.”
My wife has a phrase she often uses in response to people’s expression of love for her. If someone says, “I love you Linda” she will often respond with “I love you back.” And she does! And God does too. God loves it when you express your love for Him, and He loves to love you back.
In yesterday’s devotional I cited Jesus’ words in Mark 12:20 that we are to love God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul. In other words, not only does God love us fully and unconditionally, but we need to love Him in the same way, fully and unconditionally.  
Love needs to flow in two directions. God loves you, but you also need to love Him. He expresses His love for you, but you also need to express your love for Him. In fact, you will experience His love for you most and best by expressing your love for Him. It’s in the act of expressing love that we experience love. Let me say that again, “It is in the act of expressing love that we experience love.”
This is what God was teaching us through the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. Come to God, call to God, pray to God. Seek Him and search for Him with all your heart, and what will happen? He will listen to you; He will be found by you. You will experience His presence.
God wants to be wanted. He loves you, and He wants you to love Him back. God reaches out to you, and He wants you to reach out to Him. Do you? If so, in what ways? Do you faithfully seek Him in worship? When you enter the time of corporate worship is it more than just singing songs and listening to a sermon, are you consciously and eagerly seeking an encounter with God? Do you seek Him in prayer? As you pray are you actually thinking of Him, forming an image of Him in your mind, hearing yourself converse with Him as you would with your spouse or with a friend? When you listen to worship music (as discussed earlier in this series), are you really listening to the words, praying them back to God as a prayer set to music? When you engage in acts of mercy and compassion are you doing it in the spirit of Matthew 25:40, as if you were doing it for Jesus Himself?
Such efforts to reach out to God are deeply pleasing to Him, and His promise is that when we do that, He will respond in-kind. We experience God’s love for us by expressing our love for Him. I encourage you to express your love for Him, and then relax and enjoy it as you realize He is loving you back.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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