For God So Loved

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17 KJV).

For God So Loved

Webster defines savior as one that saves from danger or destruction; one who brings salvation.

I would say both definitions describe our Savior.

This month we celebrate love. But it’s not the love we have, or should have, for one another I wish to talk about, but the incredible love God has for us!

For God So Loved

According to Paul in his letter to the Romans, God loved us while we were yet sinners.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 KJV).

I love that scripture! Many think we must clean up before we show up. We must stop doing this or that before we begin the journey to the cross. Not so. We come as we are, and He does the cleaning. He alone makes it possible for us to become sons and daughters.

However, the choice to become sons and daughters is ours alone. The story in John 4 reminds us that no one can make that decision for us.

And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world (John 4:42 KJV).

As you can see, the Sychar residents made their own decision.

Hope of Salvation

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11 KJV).

Savior: one that saves from danger or destruction; one who brings salvation.

God sent His Son because we needed a Savior to save us from our sins. Through Him, we have hope of eternal life.

I’m so glad I heard the good news of Jesus, and his truth brought me the hope of salvation.

Have you discovered the hope of His salvation? If not, click here to get started.

Click to Tweet: For God So Loved #hope #love @GailJohnson87

What is your favorite scripture on God’s love for us?

Original Photo by Will O on Unsplash

Sow In Love

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As I looked out my window this week, I noticed my flower and garden beds. This warm weather tempts me to get busy. But I know the cold will eventually pervade the south once more before the spring months. As I continued staring at my lifeless beds, I thought about the different ways a garden is compared to this thing called love.

 Soil Preparation

Get to know your mate BEFORE the vows. Plow the rows straight. Be honest even if it means you may lose them. With those first tender seeds of love include seeds of hope, patience, kindness, and respect. Be sure to add goodness, gentleness, and temperance.

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Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Dead Heading and Weeding

Deadheading is the process of removing old flowers. Marriage goes through all four seasons. It’s your choice to sow the seed therein. The same kernel that worked in summer will not grow in wintertime! Learn to change with the seasons. Pinch the seasonal blooms and tuck them away before sowing new seeds.

While you are deadheading check for weeds which appear out of nowhere sucking the fertilizer and water from your soil. Left alone they will reproduce until your garden becomes a patch of weeds. Quickly pull and discard.

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A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverb 15:1

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Ephesians 4:26

Bugs, Bees, and Butterflies

An invasion of a harmful pest can destroy a garden overnight. Destructive pests in a garden are like bad habits in a marriage. Online affairs, pornography, secrets, and the like will eventually destroy trust and love in a relationship.

But not all insects in a garden are harmful. Some are beneficial. Good habits in a marriage solidify the relationship. Habits such as quiet moments together, evening or morning walks, an afternoon stroll on the beach, a hike through the woods, date night, movie night, cuddle time, and forgiving.

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I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Song of Solomon 7:10

Perfect Light

In the light of love a garden will thrive, but in the light of comparison, the fruit will suffer.

For example, who doesn’t like an unforgettable love story? But sometimes we may forget that it is just that—a fictional story. If not careful we may begin expecting our spouses to be like the flawed semi-perfect character on the page.

My man isn’t a Darcy, Knightly or Captain Wentworth. He loves me more like a Hub McCann (Second Hand Lions) Tell Sackett (Shadow Riders) or Mr. Fredricksen (Up). For those who haven’t seen the movies, Hub, Tell, and Mr. Fredricksen are crotchety, ornery, lovable men.

But I knew that about Hubby going into the relationship. It’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with him. He doesn’t speak with flowery words. In fact, he hardly speaks at all. Yet, he buys me the most heart-hugging Valentine and Mother’s Day cards you could ever imagine.

Somedays he drives me nuts. Yet craves my attention. Expects the best. And challenges me to meet him half way. Other days I drive him insane. I  give no quarter. I expect his best. I crave his undivided attention. And dare him to meet me half way.

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I confess, dearest reader, I love him more today than the day we married because I’ve come to realize we both are two imperfect and broken people in need of a perfect Savior to mold and shape us into His image.

And in that perfect light this marriage of mine has gone through endless house remodeling and repairs, menopause, and man-o-pause, sickness, miscarriage, disease, death, family squabbles, addiction, fits of anger, bouts of silence, and lack of money. And that is the first thirty years! But rather than give up we choose to forgive and make up.

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And in our efforts to cherish each other, no matter the present circumstances, we have harvested two exceptional children, amazing love, fits of laughter, delightful secrets, passionate embraces, furtive glances, and knowing smiles.

 

So this is love…

 

Love is a veritable garden of delights—and heartache. No two are alike. Not one perfect. The soil must be plowed, fertilized, and watered. The beds need constant tending. But if you are willing to get yours hands dirty, you can produce a bumper crop.

Happy Day of Love, dearest reader!

Save

O Holy Night

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2

History:

Words by Placide Cappeau
Music by Adolphe Adam
Translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight

Favorite line:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

Reflection

Do you know your worth?

You are priceless. None compare to you, my friend. You were bought with a price. His precious blood paid the price that everyone could be saved. Rejoice in that fact. It is the reason He came to this world and the reason for rejoicing during this season.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:19

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12