I started thinking a lot about love last week. Maybe it was because I purchased a book about Valentine’s Day for our granddaughter and had it shipped to her home in the US. Or maybe it was a continuation of my thoughts about unity that had been stirred by reading Joel Westa’s article about unity. (See last week’s post.) Either way, when the character trait of the month was announced in Elementary Chapel, it affirmed what I had been thinking. This month the elementary students are focusing on love.
We held our monthly All Staff Meeting last week, so I prepared a short devotional about love. I’ve been reading the Apostle Paul’s letters to the newly-formed churches using The Message. I know it’s not the most accurate translation in English, but what reading it in this version does for me is to make Paul’s words just jump off the page at me. It makes me really stop and think.
Last week I was reading his letter to the Galatians, those living in Galatia, which is located in modern day Turkey. In chapters 5 and 6, he was talking about not going back to a life under the Law, but rather he explained that we are free in Jesus Christ. This freedom allows us to live a “life expressed in love.” Paul reminded the Christians that “it is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.” He went on to say that when we live like this, God “brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard – things like affection for others (love), exuberance about life, serenity.”
I shared these verses with the staff, and then ended my talk with a blurry YouTube video about God’s love. Ultimately, we are able to love others, even those who are hard to love, because God loves us unconditionally. Why should we do any less when God demonstrated His love to us when He gave His only Son to die in our place? My prayer is that you would experience God’s love as you interact with us here at ICSV. Remember – God really does love you!
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon C. Brobst, Ed.D.