By Gayla Parker, BCM/D WMU Executive Director, WMU SBC Mission Innovator Specialist, BCM/D Missionary for Missions Education/Customization
He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me. Many of us have played that game to determine if someone loves us. It is not a very accurate way of determining love, but it is fun to play. When I was a young girl I would sometimes count the pedals in advance to be sure that the game had the right ending.
Where God is concerned, we do not have to depend on the petals of a flower to tell us if He loves us or not. By His very character we can know that He loves us. I John 4:8b tells us “God is love.”
How do we know He is love? Let’s look at the phrase “God is love” as an acrostic.
G – gave: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.” (John 3:16).
O – overcome: “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.!” (John 16:33b)
D – desires a relationship with us; “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18)
I – inheritance; “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has given us…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (I Peter 1:3-4)
S – seeks us, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
L – length of his reach has no limit; “neither heights nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39)
O – omnipresent; “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17)
V – victory over death; “Death has been swallowed up in victory!” (I Cor. 15:54b)
E – eternal life; “Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” (I Tim. 1:16b)
2008 proved to be a year of more stresses than most of us want to remember. An unstable stock market, highest fuel prices in history, crash in the housing market, high unemployment, bankruptcy of major corporations, banks closing, retirement plans shrinking and more. In the midst of it all, believers could know and trust that God is Love.
When troubles are abounding in the world, Jesus can overcome them all. When sociologists tell us that the 20-somethings long for relationship, we can know that Jesus is all about relationship. When circumstances separate us from those who love us, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. While our families may have nothing at all to leave as an inheritance, our heavenly father owns the universe. When the doctor says, “There is nothing more we can do,” a believer knows that life is not over; it is just moving to heaven. And no matter what 2009 holds, Jesus will be right there.
February is the month of love. People are wondering what exactly is love: a feeling or a choice. Does love mean giving in or standing firm? And thousands are looking for love. The founders of web sites such as e-harmony.com have become very wealthy because of the thousands who are searching for love.
I John 4:7 says, “let us love one another for love comes from God.”
Be intentional this month about sharing God’s love with those around you who are searching for love.
We have the perfect opportunity this month to share about the perfect love and introduce someone to the one who IS true love: God.
(Adapted from Connections: A Daily Prayer Journal by Gayla Parker)