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.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John 4:9-12 NLT
In our humanity, we are finite. We have a beginning and we have an end. It is the natural flow of our lives, and is seen in everything from a good day’s work to a bedtime story for our kids. But when we brush up against eternity, we find that it has neither beginning, nor end. It always was, and it always will be. Such is the nature of love.
Scripture tells us in 1 John 4 that God is love. Therefore, since we know that God is eternal, we can reasonably assume that love is also eternal. Love begins and ends with God. But God is not stingy with this love. He longs to share Himself with every person on the face of the earth, and the tangible expression of that love is His Church, redeemed by the blood of His Son.
When you and I go to the source of love, and find that we are indeed beloved by the God of the universe, it changes everything. Once our hearts are filled with His love and truth, we are given new eyes for others, and can’t help but want to share the priceless treasure we have found!
In his groundbreaking book, The Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World, Henri Nouwen says this,
“When we claim and constantly reclaim the truth of being the chosen ones, we soon discover within ourselves a deep desire to reveal to others their own chosenness. Instead of making us feel that we are better, more precious or valuable than others, our awareness of being chosen opens our eyes to the chosenness of others. That is the great joy of being chosen: the discovery that others are chosen as well. In the house of God there are many mansions. There is a place for everyone – a unique, special place. Once we deeply trust that we ourselves are precious in God’s eyes, we are able to recognize the preciousness of others and their unique places in God’s heart.”
This week, take time to read through Nouwen’s book, and ponder ways that you might share the amazing love of Christ in new ways with those in your circle of influence…and maybe beyond.
By Sheila Rennau