Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Final Words

My command is this: ‘Love…as I have loved you.” John 15:12.

L O V E – It is one of the most overused but underapplied word in the world in my opinion. The love of which Jesus speaks in this command is not a love of pizza, or a love of sports, or a love of anything we can attain on our own. It is a call to love in spite of ourselves, in spite of our circumstances, and in spite of our heartbreaks. It is a directive to pattern our hearts after Jesus. These passages were a few of the last words of Jesus. He knew His time was near and His death was imminent. He knew that time was shortening and the words were few so they had to be powerful.

I remember this same scene playing out in my own life as I was the one to hear last words. As Daddy laid there at Hospice with his earthly life ebbing away I knew any moment could be his last. I remember we had all been there that day surrounding him. To be a part of 3 generations circling him in love and support was quite a surreal experience. As the world hustled and bustled outside of these walls, our world was focused on last moments…last words…last touches...last times. As I was leaving, I heard the whisper of true L O V E. I saw his beautiful eyes of brown gaze into mine as He pushed out the words ‘Brenda, I love you.’ Those were his parting words to me…That was his desire for me…he loved me so I was to love others with the same love I had been shown.

I read many years ago that love is for the benefit of the other person. That is what Jesus did. He gave up His life so that we could live and love forever. He shared His most vulnerable moments of despair in the Garden. He showed us forgiveness from the cross. If we are to love as He loved us what does that look like? It is the love that chooses to forgive when others do us wrong. It is the love that requires us to sometimes deny our own desires. It is the love to stand up for Jesus in a world that sits down for everything. ‘If my only view of love is what it will give me, love from others will fail me every time. It’s not that love fails. It’s that other people were never meant to be god […not my spouse…not my children…not my grandchildren…not my parents…not my siblings…not my friends]. God’s love never fails. Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world. Love is what I have the opportunity to give. Loving others is one of the keys to feeling love.’ Finding I Am, Lysa TerKeurst, p. 149.

God’s love is the kind of love my dad gave me – a love that benefited me. They were words God formed from Daddy's mouth to give to me at the end. Through the LOVE of what Jesus did for all of us, we will be able to hear our loved ones say again, 'I love you!' Doesn't get any sweeter than that. That is certainly love that delivers!

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