By Becky Spell Vann Contributing Columnist
February 28, 2014
Do you believe that He who made the world loves you unconditionally? Do you believe God still governs the world and His will will prevail? At the close of the second month of the year of the Lord 2014, let us think on these things: love and freedom.
Love! God’s Word gives guidance and encouragement to live our lives in love for Him and one another. 1 Corinthians 14:1 explains the great gift of love — “Let love be your greatest aim; nevertheless, ask also for the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives, and especially the gift of prophecy, being able to preach the messages of God.”
In order to understand clearly, the greatest of all things in this world and beyond is love. When we live our lives in an attitude of love and connected to Christ, there will be peace and promise, sunshine and surprises, happiness and heartaches strewn all along our paths. What? Why would we have heartaches? Heartaches and hurdles come to all God’s children. The difference in how they affect our lives is the attitude in our minds and the faith in our hearts. God does not exempt us from tough times, but when we honor Him as our first love with passion, honor, and obedience, He makes the crooked way straight and brings good from the bad according to His plans for our lives. Never, ever can we out love or out give God. He loves devotedly and takes delight in peppering our paths with prosperity and perfect love.
The action in this scripture shows His amazing love and sacrificial gift. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Would we be willing to give such a gift? Our Heavenly Father did! God has been trying to show us how much He loves us from the very beginning of time. He sent prophets in the Old Testament who were all rejected. The parable of the great husbandman shows that all the stewards sent to tend his vineyards were rejected. Finally, he sent his son; they killed him too. This shows what God did through Jesus Christ. He loved us so much that He sent His Son, knowing that He, too, would be rejected. Jesus was God’s ultimate revelation that He loves us. He showed the world through His willingness to die for us, and through His resurrection, that He had victory over death and all the problems of life forever.
God really does love all His children. Father, forgive us for rejecting Your gift to us. Let us love out loud and boldly share your gifts and good news wherever we go.
Freedom! Freedom to enjoy life comes when we give honor and glory to God, loving and serving one another by the example of Jesus. When we are disconnected from the Vine (God), freedom to love and live in peace flee. Serving in love fosters freedom.
Reading Galatians 5:13 defines the significance of lovingly serving one another while enjoying freedom to experience God. We are cautioned to be respectful of freedom — “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.”
Remembering dynamic Christian leaders who honored God and had an everlasting influence is a reminder of how far we have drifted from being “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.”
Abraham Lincoln understood being servants of one another while lovingly leading a nation through perilous times by Christian principles. He came from the humblest of homes to occupy the highest office in the land, the President of the United States.
Lincoln said things as he led through tough times that still hold true today — “A house divided against itself cannot stand. Our cause must be entrusted to, and conducted by, its own undoubted friends, those whose hands are free, whose hearts are in the work, who do care for the results.”
“We are indeed going through a fiery trial. In the very responsible position in which I happened to be placed, being a humble instruments the hands of our Heavenly Father, as I am, and as we all are, to work out His great purposes. I have desired that all my works and acts may be according to His will. And that it might be so, I have sought His aid. But if, after endeavoring to do my best in the light which He affords me, I find my efforts fail, I must believe that for some purpose unknown to me, He wills it otherwise. Through our limited understanding we may not be able to comprehend His purpose yet, we cannot but believe that He who made the world still governs it. The will of God prevail!”
Thank you, Mr. Lincoln!
Reading words from President Lincoln cause concern for “such a time as this,” when freedom and faith-filled Christian leaders are on the brink of being extinct. Bob, a homeless man from Texas, asked me in the secretary’s office at my church, ‘Where are all the Christians?” Are we fearful to stand in faith and proclaim His Word? Prayers should honor our Father God as the One who made the world, governs it today, and will be ultimately exalted.
Let us pray for our leaders and take seriously the challenge to elect those people who believe that He who made the world still governs it today.
Let us love deeply, serve humbly, and seek the will of our Father in all things. May we embrace freedom with a passion to protect and proudly proclaim our Christian love for one another from sea to shining sea believing and being all God has called us to be. And may the will of God prevail!