“I’m convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the power of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:38-39
That’s a pretty awesome verse to recall today, and is the foundation for my 2nd chapter in “Live Love Lead.” It’s such a comprehensive verse that reminds us that we are always connected to God by love. The Bible tells us about God’s love, including the popular verse John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
The promise of that verse is powerful, and it is important to remember that God’s love will comfort you in darkness. In times of adversity or ambiguity, remember to open yourself up to God in prayer so that His brightness can lift you up. There is no storm His love cannot weather, so whether you are in the calm or in the eye of the storm, call upon His love in worship. Because Jesus died, we are saved by His love. We have been made new and our life only just begins with Christ. Love is a paramount fundamental of our faith, and it is not only a feeling or emotion, but an action that we have been called on to reciprocate.
Please read along to the 15th chapter of John:
“1 I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you over my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command. Love each other.”
The words of Jesus inspire great hope for us all, and not just in this temporary time of social distancing, but for the hope that awaits us in eternity. I hope you all hear the words of Jesus Christ and find comfort today because of how He loves us, and also so that you can reflect on the love that you have for others. I’m so happy to be a part of such a loving, supportive church family, and am excited for the reunion!