“On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining.” 1 John 2:8
Love is not simply a word we utter or a dictionary definition. Characteristics of love can be seen in actions and known through experiences. Early one we learn facets of love when we are tiny and our mother sacrifices to nurture us and in our father’s arms we are securely protected and provided for. As we grow we may learn about love through friendships, marriage, church, family and children. But what in essence is love? The Bible tells us that God is love; we even get a detailed description of love in 1Cor 13. Yet, ever since God gave Moses the ten commandments, it has been His desire to see humanity flourish by giving us instruction on how to love Him and others. However, time has shown our inability to love by the masses of broken families, wars and rivalries between peoples. When Jesus came into this dark world as a little baby, with his sole purpose to lay his life down for his friends, love was fashioned into wonderful new heights.
The new commandment the Lord gave us was not entirely a new one, yet one based on the principle of the old, with a manifestation made of flesh and bone. God came down to earth in the most loving and selfless act of history–to suffer pain and death undeservingly to win us over from the eternal death sentence of sin. He lived out love in its purest and highest forms as he died in our place when it was we that deserved divine punishment. He majestically loved us that we’d follow in his steps by dying to ourselves, to sin and live for Him. He is the Light in this dark and painful world. Although he died, he also rose and defeated sin & death. He also didn’t leave us to follow in his lofty footsteps without aide. He left us with the power of His Holy Spirit. “the love of God has been poured within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” Romans 5:5
Not only is the new commandment shown to us through Christ, but it also radiates from Christian’s hearts toward one another. It is then stunningly arrayed for all the world to see! This love is not a moral achievement of duties but an irresistible overflow oozing from the Spirit that indwells believers. This super-natural love gets other’s attention because it is hard to replicate in its authenticity. The testimony of genuine love speaks louder than words. In my darkest hour of losing my husband; the love of God has shone so bright through the out-pouring of love and financial support from our church family—some of whom I’ve never personally met. It is a glimpse to us in our dark valley of God’s affectionate light. “Right now light coexists with the darkness, but the Light and the divine love He bears will increasingly dispel the darkness, shone even brighter during Christ’s millennial reign, and eventually rule supremely through all eternity.” (John MacArthur) One-day love will be fully known as we see Christ face-to face.
It’s now been four months and the Lord has graciously gifted the boys and I with much comfort, love, peace and even joy. Yet, we are still learning a new life with residual pain, fear and sorrow. I have to carry tissue in my purse now, because I’ll unexpectedly find tears escape my eyes at times. I started taking a biblical grief class in hopes to grow my understanding of my own grief as well as others’—mainly the boys but also so I may help others. Although I don’t usually cry unless I’m alone with the Lord, my leader observed how I teared up at someone else’s sharing of their pain. It’s truly heart breaking to hear others hurt, especially when able to identify with the weight of the pain. Please pray for this course to be healing and helpful as I seek to honor God with our earthly loss, and to shepherd the boys through it.
Heavenly Father, you have shown us love—not that we loved you but that you first loved us and died for us. Thank you for your gift of love through faith in Christ. All praise is owed to you for the amazing and awesome love that would even sacrifice of your beloved Lamb slain for us! The beauty of heaven will be ours to behold soon, just as our departed loved ones now enjoy your unfiltered glorious light. We confess that we love so poorly… Please fill us with a real and exclamatory love for you our Lord, for those whom Jesus died for, and for those that are lost in darkness still. May we shine your love graciously wherever you take us and not matter what you have us walk through, according to your perfect will and foreknowledge. May we reach your throne unashamed but full of confidence in Christ’s finished work and ready to receive joyful commendation for a life lived to your glory and love. In Jesus’ name.