We Love Because

Six weeks ago, we left Belize with two suitcases, two backpacks, and two grieving hearts. A parent’s death changes everything. It changes how we view life, how we value relationships, and how we relate to God. For 18 years we’ve served as missionaries. Five years in Russia and 13 years in Belize. Now it’s time for us to serve and support Tom’s mother, a widow after 61 years of marriage.  The vows couples make on their wedding day merge two lives in a singular commitment to love. How does one move on after such a tremendous loss? One moment at a time is all God gives us. As the moments turn to hours, days, and weeks, we build a life, making memories and forging deep bonds of love.

A life of love is a life well-lived.
The end of a well-lived life leaves loved ones in mourning.
We mourn because we’ve loved and been loved.

We Love Because 

We love because he first loved us.
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭19‬ ‭CSB‬‬ 

God, the One who defines love, loved us first. He plans for us, provides for us, and protects us out of a deep love for us. His unselfish love teaches us to love others. Our way of loving might prove to be imperfect, but His way of loving never fails.

How can we love one another better? As John tells us in 1 John 3:18, we love best in action and in truth. What actions are required for those of us with young children, or aging parents, or a ill spouse? We take care. Caring is loving in action. Words and speeches might be inspirational or encouraging, but we can encourage or inspire without loving. If the goal is to show love, like Christ, we must take action.

Taking Action

Christ showed us a ‘not my will but Yours’ kind of love when He sacrificed His life for our salvation. Today as I read Luke 23, these words stood out to me,

And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last. ‭‭Luke‬ ‭23‬:‭46‬ ‭CSB‬‬

His final act before death was to entrust His spirit to the Father. Meditating on this act led me to consider,

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭20‬ ‭CSB‬‬

Perhaps, like me, this is a memory verse from childhood. But, do we live it? It’s easy for me to plan, set goals, and move forward each day as if my life is mine and not His. Can I honestly say that I share in His crucifixion? I’m grateful for the grace He gives each day so we can try again. That’s my focus this week. To live in this body by faith in Christ with a spirit entrusted to God. Will you join me?

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