Children of God

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Children of God

By Nancy Boote on August 11, 2022

Read: 1 John 3:1-10

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (v. 1 NIV)

What does it mean that God lavished his great love on us? It means that God bestowed his extravagant love for us in generous quantities. It is above and beyond what we can comprehend, isn’t it?

As an adoptee, I struggled to receive God’s great love for me. I thought I had to earn it somehow or prove myself deserving. Because my mother gave me up at birth, I wrestled with thoughts of self-worth wondering why I was not loved enough to be kept. But God’s love is different. We don’t have to earn it, nor do we even deserve it because of the sin in our lives.

But he demonstrated his great love for us in that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Christ’s sacrifice for us was the deepest expression of his extravagant love that he lavished on us.

The benefit of this love is that we are called children of God, “and that is what we are!” says John. And it will be evident to others that we are his children through our actions as we do what is right and show love for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:10).

When you receive God’s love for you through the sacrifice of his Son, you are God’s child. May you know this truth today! —Nancy Boote

As you pray, receive the great love of God that he lavishes on you, his child.

God’s Forever Family

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

God’s Forever Family

By Nancy Boote on August 10, 2022

Read: John 1:1-14

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (v. 12)

Being adopted has helped me understand what it means to be welcomed and included as someone else’s child. It is a gift of belonging. Adoptees are often referred to as those who found their forever family.

This idea is present in our text today. John tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (v. 1). If we substitute Jesus’ name for the Word, it reads, “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.”

Jesus, who is God, made his dwelling among us. He became flesh for us (v. 14). Born in a humble manger, Jesus came to earth to do his Father’s will. He came to reconcile us with God through his sufferings on the cross, through his death for our sins, and through his bodily resurrection.

By receiving Jesus, accepting what he has done for us, and believing in his name, we are given the right to become his child. What an amazing, beautiful gift—to be called his child. We are adopted into his forever family. I was blessed to have been adopted into someone else’s family, but even more blessed to be adopted into God’s forever family.

Have you received Jesus and believed in his name? Accept him today and be welcomed into God’s forever family. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for giving you the right to be called his child.

His Father Saw Him

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

His Father Saw Him

By Nancy Boote on August 9, 2022

Read: Luke 15:11-24

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (v. 20)

When I was a child, I got on the wrong bus on my way home from my very first day of school. My anxious parents were looking for me and rejoiced when they found me.

Jesus tells us a parable of a son who went his own way and was lost. The son had squandered the inheritance he received from his father. When the money was gone, he remembered that even his father’s servants ate better than he did. The son returned home rehearsing his speech to ask for forgiveness from his father. But a most amazing thing happened!

The father saw him from far off and ran to him. This was not normal for a man in this culture. But our text tells us that the father “felt compassion” (v. 20). Instead of being angry with his son, he ran to him and expressed his love to him. He embraced him and kissed him. Rather than punishing him, he threw a party in his honor and brought out the best for him because he was lost and now was found.

How do you picture God? If you picture God as a punishing God, remember this parable. God loves you, his child. He is always looking for you, wanting you to come home to him. Return to him today. May you feel his love and compassion for you, his child. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for his great love for you.

Son and Daughter

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Son and Daughter

By Nancy Boote on August 8, 2022

Read: Matthew 9:1-8; 18-22

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” (v. 22)

My dad would lovingly say to me, “You’s a good daughter!” Instead of saying, “You’re,” he purposely used improper English followed by a sweet smile and often a peck on the cheek. I loved hearing him say this. It meant that I was his daughter; I belonged to him. This carried special importance because he adopted me as his own.

In our chapter today, when Jesus healed a man and woman, he used fatherly terms of endearment as he addressed them. He lovingly healed a paralyzed man both spiritually and physically saying, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (v. 2). Then, while Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter, he was interrupted by a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Jesus became aware that power had left him when she touched his robe. Instead of being annoyed by this interruption, he sought her and said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well” (v. 22).

As a father knows the needs of his children, Jesus knew the needs of this son and daughter. He made them both well.

Do you know Jesus’ love for you, his child? Where do you seek healing in your soul? Know that you are a son or daughter so loved by him. May you hear Jesus as he calls you his son or daughter today. May your soul be made well. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, rest in Jesus’ love for you as his child.

Carried by the Shepherd

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Carried by the Shepherd

By Nancy Boote on August 7, 2022

Read: Isaiah 40:1-11

He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. (v. 11 NIV)

David reminds us in Psalm 100 that we are the Lord’s sheep. We belong to him! Isaiah continues with this beautiful image of the Lord as our shepherd. He not only tells us that our sovereign Lord comes with power (v. 10), but also that he tends to his flock like a shepherd (v. 11).

Can you picture the shepherd tenderly scooping up his lamb and carrying the lamb close to his heart? What an amazing portrait of our shepherd’s deep love for us! No matter what worries, concerns, hurts, or cares are weighing us down, he picks us up and holds us close to his heart and comforts us. With his arms around us, we feel his great love for us his sheep, and all our cares melt away.

But sometimes we can feel so alone in our troubles. Life is hard. Jobs are lost, people receive a terminal diagnosis, disease and cancer spreads, parents die leaving children as orphans, and children or adults suffer at the hands of abusers. This list is too long to continue. Sometimes we think that no one understands what we’re going through.

But there is one who carries us. And we have one who understands. We have one who loves us. We have a shepherd who picks us up in his loving arms. He holds us so close to his heart and comforts us. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, feel the Shepherd’s loving arms around you.

His

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

His

By Nancy Boote on August 6, 2022

Read: Psalm 100

It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (v. 3)

Picture a beautiful, lush pastureland. The sheep are lazily grazing as if they did not have a care in the world. Their shepherd is nearby protecting them. He tends to them lovingly and knows each one of them. They are his!

The psalmist says, “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (v. 3). Jesus often referred to his people as sheep. We see that especially in the gospel of John. In John 10, we read about Jesus, our good shepherd who tenderly cares for his sheep. He knows them, feeds them, and protects them. And he is willing to even lay down his life for his sheep. The sheep know his voice. They will not respond to a stranger. The sheep listen to their shepherd’s voice, and they follow him because they belong to him.

The most beautiful words of belonging are the words “we are his.” And the possessive pronoun my emphasizes this belonging in John 10. Jesus says of us “my sheep.” We are his, under his loving care.

Today may you know that the Lord created you, you are his, the sheep of his pasture. You belong to him. You need not fear. He is with you. His rod and his staff will comfort you (Ps. 23:4). Rest in the security of this truth—you are his! —Nancy Boote

As you pray, be thankful that you are his!

Chosen

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Chosen

By Nancy Boote on August 5, 2022

Read: Ephesians 1:1-6

For he chose us in him. (v. 4 NIV)

Do you remember a time when you were chosen for something? Maybe you were chosen for an athletic team or musical group. Or perhaps you were chosen to read in class or join a club. How did that make you feel? Special? Loved? Wanted?

As an adoptee, I was often told that I was special, loved, and wanted because my parents chose me. But God chose me first, as our passage says. Before the creation of time, I was chosen. I was chosen in Christ; I was chosen in love.

God chose Abraham to be the father of all nations (Genesis 17). He made his covenant with him, pledging his love and making a people for himself. He became their God; they became his people. He chose them as his very own. Moses reminded God’s people, “The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples” (Deut. 7:6-7 NIV).

God’s people didn’t have to earn his love or jump up and down pleading, “Choose me, choose me!” He chose them because he first loved them. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Because of Christ, we belong to God, and he belongs to us. We were chosen in Christ. We were chosen in love! —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for choosing you.

Ties of Love

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Ties of Love

By Nancy Boote on August 4, 2022

Read: Hosea 11:1-11

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. (v. 4 NIV)

The phrase “ties of love” from our passage reminds me of preschoolers walking with their teachers, holding tightly to a rope. This rope is for their safety, binding them together through the love and care of their teachers.

Hosea 11 pictures God’s beautiful love for his children. He says, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (v. 1). He taught them to walk, taking them by their arms (v. 3). “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them” (v. 4 NIV). What a beautiful image of God’s tender fatherly love for us his children.

Israel was determined to turn from God (v. 7). God used the marriage of Hosea to the promiscuous Gomer in the first chapters of Hosea to illustrate that he is faithful, and his love is deep for his children even when they turn away. God promised to be their God. Israel and God are bound together with ties of love—ties that cannot be broken. This is covenantal love.

And this is the love that God has for each one of us. Why? Because we are his children. We belong to him. We are tied to him in love. Picture him picking you up and holding you to his cheek and telling you, “I love you.” —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for loving you so deeply.

Banner of Love

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Banner of Love

By Nancy Boote on August 2, 2022

Read: Song of Solomon 2

My beloved is mine, and I am his. (v. 16)

When children sing the song “His Banner Over Me Is Love,” they are encouraged to put their arms over their heads interlocking their hands demonstrating God’s banner of love that covers them.

In the Old Testament, banners were raised to proclaim victory (Exod. 17:15), to gather troops together (Isa. 5:26) and to serve as a symbol of hope for God’s people (Isa. 11:10, 12).

In verse 4 of our passage, the woman’s beloved brought her to his banqueting table as a part of the marriage celebration. This was not just a meal. It was a feast of love. She said, “Let his banner over me be love” (v. 4 NIV). By accepting his love for her, she was saying, “You belong to me, and I belong to you.” This feast is a beautiful picture of intimate marital love as well as communion between Christ our bridegroom and the church his bride.

Have you accepted Christ’s love for you? His love was beautifully displayed when he gave his life on the cross. He spread his arms wide as his banner of love for you. When we accept Christ’s love and sacrifice, we can be assured we belong to him.

Picture standing under Christ’s banner of love over you. His banner says, “You belong to me, you are mine. I am for you. I love you. I am always with you. I will protect you.” —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank him for his banner of love over you.

Created by God

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Created by God

By Nancy Boote on August 1, 2022

Read: Psalm 139

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (v. 13 NIV)

Adoptees of my generation usually do not know their birth mothers. For a long time, this was true for me. Knowing that the Lord carefully formed me and knit me together in my birth mother’s womb comforted me. I didn’t know my birth mother, but God did. He was there when I was conceived. He was there as he shaped and formed me in my birth mother’s safe womb space. Even when she relinquished me for adoption, he was with me. He did not abandon me, his creation.

David also knew that the Lord was with him and would not abandon him. For he created him and knew him intimately. He was familiar with all his ways (v. 3). There was also no place that David could flee from the Lord’s presence (v. 7), neither in the heights nor in the depths, at the light of dawn or on the far side of the sea (vv. 8-9). The Lord was always with him. Even when he would awake, God was there (v. 18). The Lord did not abandon David, his creation.

In this devotional series, we will explore what it means to belong to God, our creator, and be loved by him. Psalm 139 reminds us that even before we were born, the Lord was with us. We belong to our heavenly Father, the one who created us. The Lord was and will always be with us for we are his children. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for creating you, his child.

The Friendly Church