CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/29/2021

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Verse of the Day

November 29, 2021


Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! – Zephaniah 3:14 ESV


I fell in love with a messenger. What can I say, I am happily married, but there is something about the way this messenger spoke that made my heart flutter—such clarity in the words, such mystery, while at the same time, so confidently precise. The message made me realize I didn’t quit understand love nor the completeness of it. Love is deeper than I could imagine.

The message came from heaven and spoke of love, redemption, special preparations, and they were all encapsulated in love.

The messenger said it was a message of love for the lost and hurting, widowed and orphaned, poor and wealthy. He said it was for all people and even included the marginalized from the society. I pondered what kind of love has its eyes so wide open that it makes it blind?

As I heard the message, I secretly wondered if this great love actually included me. Could I possibly be loved like this? A love from someone so great, they were willing to give it all. I have felt love by others, certainly in my marriage, but this love was different! This love was genuine and pure! It was so free from corruption and manipulation! I soon began to realize this love can only be experienced from a recipient’s position, meaning, I wasn’t capable of giving such a love. I understand my love has motives and conditions, but this love… this love!

This love can only come from one who is pure, spotless and free of sin. This pureness allowed the messenger to look at me and make it clear this love was, in fact, for me! Still, I was uncertain someone could love me like this. My only certainty was how confident I was that I didn’t deserve to have it. Yet, the messenger assured me it was true.

I asked the messenger how he could be so sure the message could be true for me. It was then I realized the messenger of the message was also the author of the message. That makes the Messenger the message!

As the Author of this Message, He has the authority to declare to whom the Message is for. It is for you and it is for me. Believe the God of the universe loves you. May your heart become overwhelmed in response to who and what He has done for you. Be in awe of and respond appropriately to the love of Christ for you. Be in awe of and respond appropriately to the love of Christ for you.

Consider Zephaniah 3:14: “Sing aloud, O daughter of shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!”

How will your heart respond to the love described by the Messenger? I, like Zephaniah’s letter, will choose to rejoice and exult with all of my heart. Celebrate the love you have been gifted to receive. Celebrate that the message became the Messenger and has joined your heart for today and beyond.

By Pastor Leroy Childress, Bible League International partner, Illinois, U.S.

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