40 Days of Joy - Healthy Relationships Start With God - Day 22

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice."  Philippians 4:4

So far, we’ve discovered that joy comes from spending time in the presence of God and through fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. This week, we are going to look at the earthly joy and eternal reward that healthy relationships bring to our lives.

Begin your time with God in prayer:

Praise God for who He is. Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him. Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life. Yield your will to God’s will.

Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart: 

In Philippians 4:2 and 4:4, we learn that our joy and our unity are found in the Lord. When we invest our lives in material things and selfish pursuits more than people, we miss the joy of life that people bring to our lives. Healthy relationships start with God.

1 John 4:7-8 - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

What is one of God’s purposes for us (vs. 7)?

According to verse 7, where does that love come from (keyword – for)?

What’s the problem if we do not love others with God’s love (vs. 8)?

Do you know God? Have you personally been the recipient of His love even though you didn’t deserve it? Have you received His forgiveness when you deserved the penalty for your sin? Have you had to approach God over and over in need of forgiveness and discovered that He’s waiting for your return? Loving God’s way starts with receiving God’s love and then extending that love to others.

1 John 3:1 - See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 

Apply God’s Word to your life:

  • Thank God for loving you when you didn’t deserve it.
  • Take a few minutes to meditate on the truth that you are a child of God: loved, accepted, forgiven and adopted into His family.
  • How can you show the love, acceptance and forgiveness that God has shown you today? Pray for those encounters.

Father, I praise You that joy is found in Your presence. I want to know You. Thank you for loving me, forgiving me, accepting me and bringing me into Your family. As I come to know and experience Your love, help me to allow that love to flow through me to my family, my co-workers, and the lost and hurting world around me. Teach me how to have healthy relationships. Help me to set my mind on Your Word, Your will and Your ways and then empower me to live it out. Amen.

Related verses to meditate on:

1 John 3:16-18  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 4:18-21 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

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