Have you ever received a love letter that was so precious to you that you had to save it…tuck it away in a safe place. So amazing that through the years you retrieved it again and again to savor the sweet words?
It’s only a jumble of words, written on plain piece of paper, stuffed inside an envelope, but if you’re the recipient then you know the power of a love letter. Every word, every single word is pure gold. Every word is read and reread with pure delight. While the words may be simple, they are electrifying. While they may be scrawled and hard to read, the words are priceless.
Every “I love you” and every tender expression communicates that the reader is recognized, chosen, and valuable.
Maybe you prefer to listen to this teaching.
Maybe you prefer to watch this teaching.
Oh, I know about love letters,
because when I was dating my sweetheart, he was in the Air Force and he had to go to Vietnam. And while he was there, he had to work 12 to 14 hours every day, seven days a week. And then in the evening, he would have to do courses. He didn’t have a lot of time.
I don’t know how he did it, but somehow, he found a way to write to me every single day. I could hardly wait until time for the mail to arrive each day. I developed an ear for the mail truck. Whenever I would hear that familiar sound grow louder, I’d run out to the end of my driveway and stand by the mailbox until it arrived.
I didn’t wait till I got inside to open it. I stood at the mailbox to go through the mail as soon as it arrived. If I got a letter (even though he wrote me every day, the mail system may not deliver one every day), I would tear it open, then proceed to read every single word. Once inside, I would read it again. I was so happy to have a letter. Every word was important, because I loved him and he loved me.
I want to tell you something that you already know;
God has written you a love letter.
I realize that the recipient of a love letter, they may or may not enjoy it. Everybody doesn’t respond the same way. A love letter, although written eloquently, maybe sound sinister and painful to the reader, if the author is a deceiver and a liar.
While it breaks my heart, I realize that some people believe that the Bible is a lie.
I was born again when I was four years old, and I have found God to always be faithful and true.
A love letter may not be welcomed, if the person receiving it does love the author.
The attitude of the heart of the reader affects how they perceive the letter. The letter may be heartfelt and sincere, while the heart of the reader is indifferent. They may find the love letter laughable or ridiculous.
Do you love the Bible?
Is it precious to you? One of the reasons that I love the Word of God so much is because I love the author. I am overwhelmed by the greatness of God’s love.
God is love.
The Bible is filled with expressions and acts of love. Even His commandments guide us to boundaries and acts of love. Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:17 that they would be rooted and grounded in love. Love is an awesome soil to grow your life.
The word “love” is used for everything.
We stick it on everything.
We stick it on sports. We stick it on fashion. We even stick it on ice cream. When you use it for everything, it means nothing. The word needs reframing in our culture. It needs to be put it back in the right context.
Jesus reframed love for us
in John 15:9 BSB As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love.
Oh, what a wonderful verse.
Do you see the reframing? Jesus is saying “Like the Father loves me, that’s how I love you!” That is s lot of love. Let that soak in. Dear friend Jesus loves you like the Father loves Him!!! He wasn’t comparing how He loves you to how He loves something insignificant. He was giving you a picture of the greatest love in the universe, then saying that’s how I love you.
There’s more in that verse. Don’t miss it.
Have you ever gotten almost finished with a gigantic puzzle, and realized a single piece was missing? Then you know that frustrated feeling. You look everywhere, because the puzzle can’t be complete until you find that last piece.
Let’s go back and find a very important piece of this verse.
“Remain in my love.”
You know that if you cut a flower off a plant and lay it on the counter, it’s going to wilt. You’re not shocked. It’s simply what happens. Jesus is talking about the same kind of thing when He said, “remain in me.”
But, how do we remain in Jesus?
Let take another look at God’s love letter. Romans 15:10
If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.
He’s not referring to only the Ten Commandments. He is talking about making the Word of God and the principles of God a guide for your everyday life. It means loving the things God loves and hating the things God hates. It means doing the easy things, like the receiving things, as well as the hard things, the giving things, like forgiving.
You were made for relationship.
God is that most important relationship. Spending time listening to His voice as you read “God’s love letter, then obeying what you see will shape and conform you to become more like Jesus.
Remain in Me…Obey His commandments.
It’s not as hard as it seems, because when we understand, when we trust his heart, when we really believe and we really understand that the things that God has told us in the Word of God are for our good. A loving Father inspired them. He made these guidelines because he knows how we work best, even better than we do. He knows how he made us, and he wants what’s best for us.
Please remember this,
Trust God’s Love
When we trust God’s love, His commandments are not difficult. They’re easy because we trust His love. I realize our human frailty and our lack of trust, even when we think we are trusting makes us afraid and that’s the hard part.
Trust God’s Wisdom.
Jeremiah 10:12 New Living Translation
But the LORD made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding he stretched out the heavens.
You see, God in his wisdom designed a seed inside the fruit growing on the tree that would fall into the ground and produce another tree that would make more fruit. God, in his wisdom, caused cycles; weather cycles, seasons, and just all the magnificence that we see all around us is a design and a plan of God.
God did that in his great wisdom. So, you can trust the wisdom of God and they all show Father knows best.
Trust His ability
John 15:11I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.…
And then lastly, you trust his ability. You trust His ability! God is able to do exactly what he said He would do. God is able to take care of you in every situation. You can trust His ability.
You can trust his wisdom, and you can trust his heart. Now there’s a benefit that comes with “remaining in Him” and we find that in
John 15:11, I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.