I just finished my Bible study of 1 John. God loved us so much (even before we were born) that He sent His one and only Son so that we may have eternal life. The Apostle John is so persistent in wanting us to know this that he repeats it in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 3:16a – “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. …” 1 John 4:9 – “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.”
John wants us to know all we need to do is believe in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as our Savior and Redeemer. We will be saved. And one day, we will receive the gift of eternal life.
Advent is also a time of anticipating Christ’s coming again.
I was studying the bride of Christ recently and learned the future groom comes to the future bride’s father and gives a dowry as a betrothal that is a vow/covenant with the promise that he will come again to claim his bride. The man then returns to his father’s house to prepare a home for his future bride. Not until the man’s father says everything is ready for the bride does the groom return. He doesn’t even know when until the Father tells Him.
Comparing the church to the bride of Christ, it struck me that even Christ is anticipating His return. Christ has to wait – actively because He is preparing rooms for each one of His believers when He brings them home to eternal life. Christ has to wait because He doesn’t know when He will return, only the Father does.
Our waiting should be active as well. I think one of my favorite and goal-setting verses from 1 John is 4:17 – “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” I CAN’T WAIT to see my LORD face to face. And I want to be able to boldly and confidently approach His throne because I have lived for Him filled with His love. There are many days I’m afraid I would be ashamed if Christ returned at that moment. However, if I remain in /abide in /belong to Him, I will live for Him and like Him. That will allow me to be bold and confident to approach His throne because I am filled with His love and humility.
Too often I find myself worrying about tomorrow or thinking of regrets in the past. I need to live in today loving and serving my God and King. I am being challenged by several readings lately to be content. A quote I read recently said “Contentment is a hallmark of living fully in the present, not in the past or future”. At first I totally agreed, especially if looking at the past involves regrets or the future worries. But I believe God has been challenging me to be content in all times.
Content in the past – It’s done. I continue to learn from what has happened.
Content today – Because God provides for all my daily needs.
Content in the future – even with all its uncertainty because I know Christ will return. I live with the anticipation from Psalm 27:4, “One thing I ask of the LORD and this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.”
Praying you may be blessed while you wait with anticipation for Christ’s return ~ Faye
When I married my husband 35 1/2 yrs ago, we had this song in our wedding – “Love one another, love one another, as I have loved you. And care for each other, care for each other, as I have cared for you. And bear one another’s burdens, and share each other’s joys, and love one another, love one another, and bring each other home.” For some reason, that type of love has been relatively easy to share with my husband over all these years. God has blessed us greatly in our relationship.
But oh how I wish I had lived that type of Godly-love for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! There have been way too many fellow believers over the years who are walking-wounded because of my sinful words or actions. Living in a small town the past few years and getting to know many people following the 2008 flood, there have been good and bad times as well. Recently some hurtful words were said about me. As God has been working on healing and restoring, He’s put some of the people who were involved back into my life. I’ve wanted to ignore them or retaliate. However, after studying 1 John daily for eleven weeks, I’ve been reminded over and over again, I’m supposed to LOVE these people with the love of God and the love of Christ because I love God.
GOD’S LOVE – John 3:16-17, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”
CHRIST’S LOVE – Philippians 2:5-8, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Thou He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
God’s love shows us redemption and grace through sacrificial giving. Christ’s love shows us sacrificial giving through obedience and humility to God’s will.
So I’m asking myself, especially with difficult people, “Am I showing them the love of God and the love of Christ in my words and actions?” There are so many times I’m grateful that my thoughts are filtered through God’s love before they come out of my mouth.
By sharing God’s love, something good happens, not only to the people we love, but also in us. God’s abundant love and grace poured out on others is a transforming gift to us.
May you enjoy the blessing of God’s love and grace especially as you share His love with others ~ Faye