Take a moment to pause, be still, and prepare your heart and mind to receive God’s word.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7 NLT
Do you remember the first time you experienced God’s love for you? Like you really experienced it, deep in your soul? When the truth and power of his love clicked in such a way that you felt it? Maybe you had grown up hearing of his love, reading about his love, but not yet experiencing it. Maybe you had been far from his love, chasing everything else and felt it through the drastic contrast of turning away from your sin and toward his truth. Maybe it was in a quiet moment of prayer with a Sunday school teacher or Youth Pastor. I remember encountering God’s great love for me as I sang a song about how desperate I was for a Savior. The realization of how desperate I was allowed for the realization of how great God’s love for me was.
The great love of God has everything to do with God’s goodness and nothing to do with us deserving it; it has everything to do with God’s grace and nothing to do with our effort. It has nothing to do with our futile attempts to be good, but with God who is rich in mercy. In a moment of feeling helpless on the deepest level, I felt comforted and hopeful in the way that mattered most.
It’s difficult to fully explain the moment when we encounter the depth of God’s love for us because it’s more than a moment, it’s an experience that changes the way we think, feel, see, and relate to God and others. While it may be hard to explain, it is so powerful to reflect on.
After reading in Ephesians about God’s incredible love and recounting your own relationship with God and his kindness, allow him to once again come and overwhelm you with his kindness and saving love in the depths of your soul.
Acknowledge your desperation for Jesus as your savior and express your gratitude for his rich mercy toward you.
Share with each other the story of the moment you encountered God’s love for you in a personal way. Where were you, how did you feel, who were you with, what scripture or song do you remember?