Many of us, perhaps unconsciously, try to win the love of God. We endeavor to be better people, to do more to spread His love and grace, to work harder. But God doesn’t love us because of the things we accomplish for Him; He loves us “because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5), as Paul wrote to Titus while he ministered on the island of Crete.

Because of His love for us, God helps us to live for Him through the power of the Spirit. Through faith, believers receive a “new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Indeed, God generously pours “out the Spirit upon us” through Christ (Titus 3:6). Through this gift of the Spirit, we have been made right in His sight. We can trust that God will keep His promise that we will “inherit eternal life” (Titus 3:7).

The gift of the Spirit isn’t only for the restored world to come, but for our life on earth now. We can experience the Spirit now as our Comforter and Advocate (John 14:16). As our Teacher (1 John 2:27), the Spirit also leads us to truth and convicts us of sin (John 16:8,13). And when we don’t know how to pray, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness,” pleading for us “in harmony with God’s own will” (Romans 8:26-27).

When you look over the past couple of weeks, can you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit? Maybe you felt inexplicable peace enter your heart when you were feeling anxious. Maybe you experienced renewed strength when you were feeling out of your depth, or a sense of being guided when you were reading the Bible. Or perhaps you simply understood that you didn’t need to do anything to win God’s love.

May we open our hearts to welcome the work of the Spirit in our lives today!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 28:15-31