The Word Among Us

November 2009 Issue

Love Changes Everything

By: Joe Difato

This month’s edition was a real challenge.

We wanted to write about the love of God, but it was such a big topic that we weren’t sure where to begin. In the end, we narrowed it down to three major themes. First, we wanted to provide a panoramic view of God’s love, beginning with creation and following salvation history up to the present day. Second, we wanted to look at how Jesus reaches out to us with love every day of our lives. And finally, we wanted to show how God’s love can be the foundation for our lives, both when things are going well for us and even when we face times of trial or suffering.

Over all these themes, however, we wanted to emphasize the fact that God wants us to experience his love, not just know about it. We are convinced that without these personal experiences of God’s love, our faith can get very restrictive. We reduce the Christian life to a set of rules, traditions, and expectations. Sadly, one major reason why people leave the church is because they have not experienced this love; in some cases, they never knew that they could experience it!

Moved by Love. When we experience God’s love, everything changes, and we begin to think and act in ways that we would never have considered before. We want to spend more time with the One whose love has filled us. We cling to him in our hearts, even as we go about our everyday lives. We are more careful to not lose sight of his presence or turn away into sin. We begin to ask how we can bring him glory with our lives.

But it’s not just in the depths of our hearts that we are changed. Our actions are different as well. His love will produce in us new priorities, moving us to put aside pursuits that once seemed so attractive or important. It will move us to reach out to the poor and to weep over the thousands of abortions that happen each day. It will cause us to lament the state of the church, to tell people about God’s love, and to pray for conversions. It will motivate us to evangelize our children and build them up in the faith. In short, God’s love can move us to become more like Jesus both in how we think and in what we do.

Pour It Out, Lord! This month, as we look at the love that God has for us, let’s all pray together that this love will be poured out in our lives and in the lives of our families. All we have to do is ask, and God will answer us. So let’s all pray that we will come to know by personal experience the joy, the peace, and the love that our heavenly Father has for us. Knowing that he wants to share his love with us more than anything else can be comforting and assuring. But experiencing this love is nothing short of transforming!

Joe Difato, Publisher | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)