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July 5 – Sojourners love Jesus

[Jesus Christ], Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. – 1 Peter 1:8

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:6-9

Sometimes trials are all we see. We don’t see Jesus, only hardship. That is where faith comes in. What can keep sojourners going amidst trials? Only the love and presence of Jesus!

When Peter denied Jesus three times, he failed the test. Then, Jesus catches his eye with a look of love (Luke 22:61) and Peter weeps bitterly. But Jesus had prayed for Peter, died for him, rose again and pursued him in love. Jesus asked him the simple question – do you love me? By God’s grace Peter could respond, “Lord, you know all things, you know I love you!” (John 21:17). Peter was graciously restored in the love of Jesus.

Peter was an eyewitness of His majesty (2 Peter 1:16), but we have not seen Him. Maybe you think that makes it harder for us, but remember Jesus’ words, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe” (John 20:29). By God’s grace we are blessed to say, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19), He loved us and gave Himself up for us (Galatians 2:20).

We love Him because we know He is with us in the furnace of affliction (Daniel 3:25). We love Him because we know nothing will separate us from His love (Romans 8:39). We love Him because the salvation of our souls is certain! So, though trials may be all we see, we can “rejoice with joy inexpressible.” We can’t even find words to express our joy.

We love you, Jesus!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for His love to you in Jesus. Speak to God of your love for Jesus for Who He is and what He has done. Ask Him for help to show your love for Him to all around you.

Rev. John A. Bouwers is pastor of the Hope Reformed Church (URCNA) in Brampton, ON, where he has served since December 2017. He is married to Julie and they have been blessed with six children and twelve grandchildren. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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