When the devil starts talking, we had better start walking . . . in the other direction. The devil first tempted Christ by asking, does God really love you? He uses the same temptation with us. As a young man, Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie believed he had to earn love by his performance, either before his parents or before God. He worked hard to make good grades and achieve so he could feel accepted.
This continued after Lloyd became a Christian. He thrust himself into discipleship activities with reckless abandon. As a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, he crammed a double load of courses into a short time slot because he could not afford to pay for a full-length study program. The burden nearly overwhelmed him, and the devil tried to convince him that he could never measure up. In his book, Enjoying God, Ogilvie said, “Although I could have told you that the Greek words for grace and joy are charis and chara, I was not experiencing them.”
God used one of Lloyd’s professors to provide much-needed encouragement. Dr. James Stewart saw the emptiness in Lloyd’s soul, and he stopped him one day in the hallway. He looked Lloyd in the eyes, smiled, took his coat lapels in his hands, and drew him close. Then he uttered words Lloyd would never forget: “Dear boy, you are loved now!”
Do you feel that you are loved now? The devil would have you doubt God’s love for you. He will point to your faults and shortcomings and say, “God doesn’t really love you because you can’t measure up.” He will point to your financial deficiencies and say, “If God really loved you, then He would have provided ___________ a long time ago.” But that is not what God has said. God says, “I love you now. I love you — no matter what.” Do you believe Him? Trust Him and show His unconditional love to someone else today.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.