“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
My eyes scanned the crowd looking for his face. I was performing yet again in my high school choir, and I just wanted to see one thing: my dad in the audience.
It wasn’t that I didn’t think my dad loved me. I knew he did, or at least I thought I knew. He worked, literally day and night, to provide for me and my very large family of 10. Surely that proved his love, right?
As my eyes and heart continued to search, I wondered, “Was my performance enough to make him take a night off from work? Was I enough?” I wanted proof I was loved. And even if he didn’t show up … would I still believe he loved me?
I find that even today, there are times I scan the circumstances of everyday life for proof I’m loved. Sometimes it looks like this:
- Will my husband remember my job requires a lot, even though it’s not a typical nine-to-five?
- Will I get a “thank you” from my boss for all those extra hours I worked on that project?
- Will my adult child make time for me?
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who does this.
Today’s verse in Galatians 2:20 tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
My life as a believer starts with being crucified. (Not literally crucified, just the old way of living and thinking.) For me, this death is a death to the continual craving for affirmation and approval. Jesus has affirmed me already, and that is enough!
I like to think that because Jesus has affirmed me, all my selfish desires to look for proof that I’m loved in all the wrong places should up and vanish, right?
Wrong. This is what happens when I forget that Christ lives in me.
You see, as long as I’m on this side of heaven, my flesh will fight to come back to life and take over. I need to remember that dying to myself isn’t a one-time decision, but a daily (and often moment-by-moment) decision.
Every day, I must settle in my soul that I’m deeply loved and forever cherished. I must remember that the Spirit of Christ who lives in me is bigger than my desire for proof I’m loved and good enough in every situation.
When I don’t waste my energy and time searching for love, I can be a conduit for His love, His purpose and His life to flow through me and to others.
Friend, you and I can stop searching the crowd. Our Father loves us. He proved it once and for all through the death and resurrection of Jesus. And He proves it daily through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit living in us. He proves it in the power to say yes to loving another when it is hard and uncomfortable.
Yes, Christ lives in us. We now live by faith, confidence and trust in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us, and with this confidence, we share this great love with others.
Jesus, I have been crucified with You. When I’m tempted to look for love in the way others respond to me, notice me or affirm me, help me hold tight to the Truth that You have already affirmed me. Help me die to myself again in this moment and the next so Your Spirit can live in and through me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Romans 5:8, “But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (BSB)
Ephesians 5:2, “and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.” (BSB)
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We come into this world with the need to know we are loved, and particularly, to know we are loved by God. Lynn Cowell’s devotional for girls, Loved & Cherished, empowers a girl to confidently know she’s loved, protected, secure, whole and valuable. Gift a copy of Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls to that precious girl you know today!
Wanting to start a small group for girls to know they are loved and cherished? With the purchase of 8 copies of Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls, you will receive a free group study guide, plus a Zoom call for your group with authors Lynn Cowell or Michelle Nietert. Click here for more information.
Hey girl moms! Listen to Lynn and Michelle’s latest podcast episode on raising brave girls here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
How could knowing how deeply you are loved empower you to be a giver of deep, unconditional love to others?
Who in your life needs to be reminded that they are unconditionally loved by God? Please leave a comment.
© 2020 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.