Deus caritas est! “…God is love.” 1 John 4:16
As we enter this season of reflection and renewal, let’s rediscover God calling to His children, revealing His goodness, and transforming each one with Perfect Love. "This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins" (1 John 4:10) ~ Donna Oswalt
More surely than ever before, I know now that we are called to give our very lives to one another and that, in so doing, we become a true community of love. Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved (p 115)
In The True Vine, Andrew Murray writes of Christ's joy: His joy is nothing but the joy of love, the being loved and of loving. It was the joy of receiving His Father's love and abiding in it, and then the joy of passing on that love and pouring it out on sinners. Christ is Perfect Love, an offering to imperfect people. Like His disciples and closest followers, we are imperfect people yet perfectly loved by Jesus.
As He spoke, He held out His hands for them to see, and He showed them His side. They were filled with joy when they sas their Lord! He spoke to them again and said, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent ME, so send I you. John 20:20-21 NLT
On Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection, Jesus appears to several people, each Gospel giving a similar but varying account of all those who witnessed the risen Savior. John writes of Jesus coming in the evening to the disciples who are meeting behind locked doors fearing the Jewish leaders. Jesus offers them peace and joy; He reminds them this assurance comes from the Father. He breathes the Holy Spirit into them. The are prepared to take the Good News of redemption and reconciliation into the world. The root of Christ's joy is the Father's love.
Jesus gives us the same command today, saying as the Father has sent Me, so send I you. We are to carry the Good News of His amazing grace into the world. We are to build up the community of faith by sharing His love. Christ prepares us with His peace and affirms us with His joy. After Christ's return to Heaven, at Pentecost the Spirit comes to dwell within the hearts of all believers. The sure foundation of our joy is Christ, Perfect Love.
READ John 20:19-23 (complete story of the resurrection, see John 20, 21)
- Imagine being in the room with the disciples when Jesus 'suddenly appears'. Describe their joy.
- How does Jesus model the task of sharing the Gospel?
- Have you experienced the resurrected Jesus? How will you share such Perfect Love?
Blessed Assurance! You are Eternal Love! I am overwhelmed that the love of the Father and the grace of the Son and the presence of the Spirit are mine! You choose me and love me and send me to be a witness for You. Your unfailing faithfulness and enduring love prepare my heart with peace and joy! You empower me to tell my faith-story. With the joy of Christ, I go! Amen. -dho
All rights reserved; copyright 2017 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author; Breathing Room For My Soul (blog)~ Follow on Twitter @soulchat
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