1 John 3:16,18
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
This is probably one of the most widely known scriptures in the Bible, John 3:16. But the next couple verses after are equally as important. I have two young boys, ages one and three, and my greatest wish is for them to love each other completely, as brothers should, each sacraficing for the other, if necessary. Everyone has heard the expression ‘actions speak louder than words.’ Maybe this verse is where the idea for the catchy little phrase came from. Anyone can talk, but more importantly, we must always follow words with deeds. Otherwise, don’t say the words in the first place.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers. Neither heighth nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to serperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can come between my Savior and I. Things can happen in my personal relationships, spouses can die or divorce, children grow up and move away, creating families and lives of their own. Lots of things can seperate us from the things and people we love in this life. But we can take comfort in knowing that there is absolutely NOTHING that can or will ever serperate us from the Love of our Lord. Unless we allow it to do so.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
This really takes the weight of the world off a persons shoulders. A simple bit of instruction, but priceless in its message. Life is hard, we all know that. It’s even harder when we have to make every single decision all on our own. Why try? The Lord is there, waiting to help you with all your choices in life. If you trust in Him instead of in yourself, you’ll find yourself doing a lot less u-turns.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
How comforting is this verse? It’s one of the Bible’s many guarantees to us, but by far one of my most favorites. Perserverance in life is truly a priceless thing. It’s a quality found in the best type of people, the people who know that hard work and stick-to-itiveness usually always pays off in the end. Usually being the key word here. In life, nothing is really guaranteed. Or is it? The Bible’s promises are. Many times people perserve in life, only to ultimately have it not work out in the end. That’s okay, that’s life. There were probably many valuable lessons learned along the way anyways. But what this verse is saying, is that if we ask something of the Lord with righteous intentions, if we ever truly needed anything from Him, He will be there for us. He is our heavenly Father, who loves us, protects us, and wants us to prosper. But only if we allow Him to do those things for us. We have to ask Him first, He won’t just barge into our lives uninvited.
1 Corinthians 13
“Love is patient, love is kind; it does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.”
This is a classic definition of love that one can constantly refer back to, no matter who you are, or what kind of life you have. This might seem impossible, to have a love so pure and perfect as this, but it is a guideline, for us, the sinners and the imperfect. We can only aspire and strive to love so purely. As a spouse, the latter portion of the verse hits home to me, love is always trusting. Many people struggle with trust issues like I do. But true love is truly and totally trusting, regardless of the consequences. We cannot control what others do. We cannot control how others treat us, or how much they love us in return. We can only ensure that we give our all in our relationships, so that when all is said and done, we can be sure we did our very best. As a parent, the part that says love is patient and not easily angered resounds mostly with me. Many times our children can be frustrating, and patience is a virtue that often runs very thin in our house, on both sides. At the end of a long day, a child who is being overly obnoxious, rude, or just not listening, can cause upsets in the household. But parents must refer back to this verse, and remember that if we truly love our children, we have to give them some room to just be kids. No matter how irritating that might be at times. The Lord wants us to be blessed by our children, not burdened by them. As an everyday human being, the very last part of the verse sticks most in my head, that the greatest of the three is love. What is life, without love? Nothing much. We love all kinds of things everyday, that’s what makes us who we are. Our families, our kids, our spouses, our pets, our homes, even our favorite books and tv shows and movies…this is what identifies us, the things we love in life.