I just finished a Bible study written by Kelly Minter titled, “What Love Is”, based on the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John. In these three books or letters, John defines love in the person of Jesus Christ and calls us to love like He loved.
What I enjoyed most (I actually loved it all) was how personal his letters were in all three books. He addresses his letters to his children, his friends, the chosen woman, and my dear friend Gaius. He reiterates the messages of love that are throughout the Old and New Testaments and he writes about the differences of the evil one and God. His letters are clear and to the point. And in my opinion, it’s because he is getting very old and time is running out for him to proclaim the Gospel.
I imagined my own grandfather who was a preacher, and an old man by the time I was a little girl. I remember him walking around in his living room with his Bible in his hand practicing his sermons.
I am grateful to have the memories of my grandfather and the legacy he left for his descendants. I am grateful for my family, my children, my grandchildren, my friends and my church family. John, the Apostle stated many times how grateful he was too.
So, in the spirit of John’s letters I too will write a few letters. Thank you for allowing me to share my heart.
My dear children, as I tried to teach you throughout the years, love one another. It is one of God’s commandments and it will get you through your toughest times. Love each other as God loves you, unconditionally and above anything else. Realize where the source of light comes from and it is from God. He is the light and in Him there is no darkness. In your darkest hour, remember there is still light even though you may not see it. Recognize when someone is trying to deceive you and turn from it as soon as you can. You will save yourself a lot of grief. Teach your children the ways of God so that they can grow to know His love for them.
My dear friends, I am blessed and grateful to have you in my life. Each one of you has a little piece of my heart and has helped mold me into who I am today. I recognize that God has placed you in my life, even if it’s for a season. Some of you have been a part of my life longer than some of my children. I thank you for loving me and not judging me. I love you for crying with me and I cherish you for the laughter you have provided when I needed it most.
My dear brothers and sisters, the ones with the same blood, where would I be without each of you? Karen, for taking care of me when I had no where to go. Debbie, for being my best part and for trusting me with your hurts and pain. Jackie, for giving of yourself and not expecting anything in return. Kim, for your comic relief in almost everything. If I could bottle it, we’d both be rich. And David, finally, thank you for staying in my life even with the miles that are between us. You are a man of many words, literally. I am proud of you. I love you all!
My dearest Guy, thank you for hanging in there with me. As we approach 25 years together you keep getting better. God is using you in ways that you may never know. I loved it when Ric said, “Everybody knows this is a Jesus house.” I know that will be part of your legacy. I praise God for bringing you to where you are. For putting circumstances in your life that drew you to Him. I can see His light in your heart as you show love to me and the children. May God continue to bless us with many more years together.
So, what is love? John explains it in 1 John 4:10 NIV
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
My dear fellow believers, may this Thanksgiving season cause you to look at your own life and the lives of those you have touched. Take the time to outwardly extend gratitude to those who have blessed you, encouraged you, lifted you, prayed for you, and loved you like God has loved us. My prayer is that we all dwell on this so that there is no denying the depth of what love is.