I grew up in a home where there was not much love. A lot of screaming, hollering, but not much joy. My mom was so verbally abusive. The only time we heard God’s name was when it was being used as a swear. I was 16 years old before I realized that some parents actually enjoy being with their children and seek to spend time with them. It blew my mind to realize that my dysfunctional household was not the “norm”. A guy from a nearby church knocked on my door one day inviting me to go to church on the church bus. I did and my life was changed. I was introduced to a whole different way of life. I remember some mornings getting on the church bus feeling lower than anything. When I got to Sunday School I remember this wonderful lady, Libby Willoughby, who was my Sunday School teacher would put her arms around me and hug me and tell me that Jesus loved me and she did too. I will never forget how that teacher made me feel. I became a Christ follower at that church and some of my happiest days were spent there working with the youth. The amazing love left a great impression on me. I would like to say I have carried that lesson on to my everyday life. I know when I had children, I tried to make sure I told them everyday how much I loved them and what a blessing they were to my life. My children are one of my greatest treasures. They may not remember it like I do, but they can never doubt my love for them and they knew Jesus loved them too. We made sure we were in Church every time the doors were opened.
As Christians we are to make people we encounter remember our presence as one that was good and made them feel valued. I desire to be as the song says, “lost in His love”. I want to be so full of His love and compassion that it leaks out everywhere.
John 13:34 says, “I am giving you a new commandment. Love one another as I have loved you.” He loves us so much with a great sacrificial love. Sometimes we love others until we have to go out of our comfort zones. I know in my life it’s hard to stretch and go outside of that zone to show His love to others. It’s so much easier when it’s closer to our level of ease and familiarity.
My goal for this year is, “Let this mind be in you that is in Christ” Philippians 2:5. I am trying to let that be my guide as I seek encounters with others to show them the love that Christ has for us. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by His love. To go from no love for 20 years to this amazing love Christ has for us just blows my mind. To know His mercies are fresh every morning and to start each and every day as if it was the first day is so refreshing. To know there is nothing I can do to make Him love me more or love me less relieves a lot of stress. He LOVES ME and HE LOVES YOU with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3 – “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”
Zephaniah 3:17 – “He rejoices over us, The Lord your God is in your midst a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you by his love, he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever!! Live out His love for us.