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Posts Tagged ‘John 3:16’

From department stores to neighborhood markets, aisles are overrun with fluffy stuffed animals, heart-shaped boxes, and sentimental cards embellished with adorable, naked babies adorned by wings. Movie theaters roll out the newest round of romantic comedies while well-placed commercials promise “a diamond kind of love”–if only your dear one would realize the worth of giving his girl a shiny bit of bling.

heart-660377_1920Now, I’m not one of those women who dislike Valentine’s Day and I’m afraid I rather enjoy sentimental love letters. And, the chocolate? Well…studies have shown that the delightful sweet increases feel-good hormones in women.

But, none of these Valentine day pleasures truly capture the essence of love. Instead? They point out our need…our yearning…our deep desire for someone to love us. The sort of love that disregards color or size. The kind of devotion unrelated to beauty, status, or age. That beautiful, unvarnished version of being treasured by someone despite the awareness of our inner faults and outward shortcomings. Oh, to know such love!

The call of your heart to be loved unconditionally? The wish-upon-a-star dream for true love you’ve had for years? The longing to be affirmed since the cancer treatments began and the image you see isn’t one you like? I want to remind you of an incredible truth, friend. There is an answer and His name is Jesus.

Haven’t you heard? He—the only God—formed you by His hands. Tenderly and gently breathing life into your soul. He—the God who is love—gave up His son that you might belong to Him. Adopted. Chosen. Embraced. He—the Holy, Unchanging One—loves you with an everlasting love. In Him, my friend, you will discover the birthplace of love that was once-and-for-all expressed in the deliberate act of choosing death on the cross in exchange for the eternal joy of living with His children.

In this season of commercialized adulation and unmet expectations, I pray that we’ll remember the words of Scripture,

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height 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 8:38-39)

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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We can’t all leave a prestigious background or lots of money to visit our children, but we can leave them a legacy of love.                                        -Naomi Rhode

As parents, we all have a dream for our child.  But,  we soon realize our precious child is his own person–uncommonly gifted and  uniquely challenged.  Our dream may not be his dream–or part of the Father’s plan.  As a friend said today, “when parent’s realize their expectations won’t be met then they can grieve the loss of that dream” and can embrace their child fully–for his beauty, imperfections, and potential.

Consider God’s love for His children.  The day it began, there was a hush in the heavens.  God’s breath rushed across the earth and a man began taking shape. First, a vague form.  Then, legs and arms.  Finally, the Man inhaled the garden’s fragrance while a host of celestial witnesses celebrated.  Adam was alive.  Sadly–like the rest of us–Adam sinned.  But as scripture reminds us,  “So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without loveLove never gives up.  Love cares more for others than for self.” (1 Cor. 13)  And, as the ultimate example of a perfect and unimaginable love, our Father in Heaven gave His own son to atone for our sins (John 3:16).

This is the legacy He has given us–and one which we are told to share with our own children.  Let’s dismiss our expectations and love our children for who they have been created to be.  Forget impressions, accolades, and GPA’s.  Let’s love our children extravagantly.

Verses for Study 

Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

  • How have you seen God act in your life?  Think of specific examples to share with your child/ren.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Eph. 5:1-2)

  • Make a decision to love extravagantly–not by reward or praise–but through sharing yourself AND the love of Christ.  Does this mean you change your schedule to spend time with your child or, if you’ve neglected spiritual parenting, start going to church together?  List and pray over areas in which you’d like to grow in your expression of genuine love.

Weekend Challenge

Begin the next few days by meditating on the words of Psalm 103:5-7.  What is this scripture teaching you about love?

http://www.youtube.com/embed/oWCbkyR0cy0

This inspiring video is an example of the power of a parent’s love.

  What have been your challenges, thoughts, and experiences as you’ve explored leaving a legacy of love?

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