What!? No cows, dogs, donkeys, or farming? Am I sure this is J.D.’s blog? I promise you friends, it’s me. But as Ms. Diane sometimes tells me, “I change things up now and again so you don’t become complacent.” With that thought in mind, I’m led to give this last month of the year to God. In doing so, I pray I honor Him for all He gives me throughout the year. Thank You Lord for all the inspiration, ideas, words, thoughts, and guidance you have given me this year. I love You Lord.
“I love you.” Can there be any combination of words sweeter than these three? Most of us, first hear them from our parents. And while we are very young, we develop our understanding of love by the actions done on our behalf. We are fed, clothed, played with, held, hugged, and yes, disciplined with love. It’s safe to say that most children are immersed in it, and many don’t even realize it.
As we grow, we discover the emotions of love. The first time you hold hands with that special someone. The first kiss shared with them. Your wedding day is dripping with love. Of course, there are breakups, heartaches, grief in the loss of a loved one, and corrections among these moments—all of which demonstrate the depth and breadth of love. Love has varying degrees and takes many forms. Yet, were it not for love, we would not exist. It was from love that God created humankind.
Firmly entrenched among the top 100 words found in the Bible is the word “love.” This is the case no matter what translation you choose. That distinction is evidence of its importance to God.
First Corinthians 13:13 reads “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” This verse comes right after the Apostle Paul’s description of what God’s agape love is. Here, we find three amazing “Forever Gifts” from God. By that, I mean that faith, hope, and love are spiritual gifts that once you receive them, they last forever. When I think of those three forever gifts, I have to agree with Paul; love is the greatest among them.
Why? Because God’s love is the impetus for the other two “Forever Gifts” from God. Without God’s love, we could not attain the initial faith needed for our salvation. John 3:16 settles this in my mind. Without God’s love and faith in His word, we would not have hope. When I think on love, the verse that always brings things home for me is 1 John 4:8 (NKJV); “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Another thought is this; what did Jesus say were God’s two greatest commandments, in Matthew 22:37-40?
For me, John Calvin put it best when he wrote “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among the others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit us, the possessor of faith and hope. Love, on the other hand, always benefits another.
When this world starts to get me down; when worldly events and actions do their best to envelop me in their darkness, I turn to God’s word to find comfort, courage, peace, and love. The Bible, God’s immutable word, is my source for all of these blessings. As I have grown in my faith through the years, I look back at all the years I suffered without this source of encouragement and instruction.God’s word, found only in His inspired Bible, is the source for man’s encouragement and instruction. Click To Tweet
A few years ago, I came across a one page letter written by Mr. Barry Adams in 1999. This letter has comforted many; and helped me achieve a better understanding of God’s love for me. His basic premise for this creative work is that the Bible, in and of itself, contains God’s love letter to us—His dear children.
Some have argued that this letter is skewed, because it only shows one side of God. Others say it leaves out the fact that God hates sin. To those, I say, “Yes, God hates sin, but with His love He loves the sinner at the same time.”
I view Mr. Adams’ Father’s Love Letter as a forward-looking document. In his letter, he paraphrases the inerrant, forever truth-filled word of God. Each statement made is supported by the Bible. I’ve attached a downloadable copy of this letter so you might read and refer to often, as I do. I pray you read this with the mindset of not the way this world is today, but how our world will one day be upon Christ’s return if you find the courage and faith to follow Him as your Lord and Savior. (Click here to download a copy of Father’s Love Letter)
Love is core to God’s character and it should be the central theme in the lives of Christians. The law of Christ is to love God and love others with His love. Love is in all that God does and it should be present in all that we, as His children, do. So you see, this post is about my cows, dog, donkeys, ranching, and farming; for all these things are a result of, and benefit from, God’s love, residing in me.As Christians, God’s love should be at the core of who we are and all we do—in His name. Click To Tweet
In thinking about love letters this week, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on a new book, released December 8th, by my friend and fellow author, Mrs. Starr Ayers. I was blessed to read an advanced review copy of For the Love of Emma and was moved to give it a five-star review on Goodreads and Amazon. Here’s the link to it on Amazon.com For the Love of Emma: Ayers, Starr: 9781943959884: Amazon.com: Books
I don’t read many fiction books these days, but this is one I highly recommend. My Christian fiction writing friends, like Ms. Starr, Mrs. Ane Mulligan, Mrs. Gail Kittleson, and others have greatly expanded my reading world this year.
Please join me each Thursday evening at 9:30 Eastern as host Coach Mark Prasek and I take a trip Around the Cross-Dubya on PJNET TV. We discuss this week’s blog post, offer insight about the lessons learned, and enjoy the fellowship of friends in the live chat room.
38 thoughts on “God’s Love Letter”
Love is indeed God’s greatest gift…and He came as a baby. Love came down. And love spread his arms wide on the cross of Calvary for us. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, Love lives again as the Living Savior who sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us.
Oh, amen and amen sweet friend. Thank you so much for your inspiring words. You add so much to our journey in faith through your words. God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas!
We can love others only because God loved us first, J. D., and I am hanging onto His love with all my might.
Thank you for recommending this book, too, as I’m always looking for a good read. Speaking of books, have you checked out my novel series? The books sound as if they are only for young people, but they definitely are not! You can check them out here: http://www.gladetrilogy.wix.com/theglade
Thank you Ms. Martha Jane. I haven’t checked your book out yet, but be assured that I will soon ma’am. God’s blessings ma’am.
Yep, it’s you…standing on the promises!
For we can do nothing else, can we my friend? So glad you enjoyed. I hope you like Mr. Adams’ letter also. Whenever I read those verses, strung together in that order, I am moved to tears of joy and praise. Just can’t help myself.
He IS Love and love is the basis for everything. What a beautiful post and I absolutely love that love letter. Perfect.
Thank you Ms. Ann. He (God) most certainly is my friend. Thank you so much for all your support, kindness, and encouragement this year. It’s wonderful friends and followers like you that make it so easy to want to do this week after week, after week. 🙂 God’s blessings gentle friend.
We truly are blessed that not only does God love us but He wants us to know. Thank you, Jesus, for your Word to us. Thank you, J.D.!
Like you Ms. Kathy, I’m honored to be a conduit my friend. God’s blessings and Merry CHRISTmas to you and Mr. Larry.
What a beautiful thought of the Bible in the form of a love letter to each of us. The Bible does provide us with all the things we need to know. Thanks for sharing this encouragement.
Amen. It (the Bible) most certainly does ma’am. Thank you so much for contributing to our conversation. So appreciated.
I have been blessed by you. I downloaded the letter; and am going to put it in each of my children’s stockings. It is a true comfort in these unusual times.
Thank you for such kind comments Ms. Louise; and what a wonderful idea to share a copy of “Father’s Love Letter” in each child’s stocking. What a great example of sharing His love. God’s blessings ma’am.
Certainly liked today’s writing. Yes, I much prefer to focus on God’s love, but do know HE is holy and does not like my sin. Thanks for good reminders.
So very true Ms. Linda. While God is most certainly love incarnate; He is also just and righteous. I’m so glad my sins are covered by Christ’s blood, but I too so dislike the taste of sin I give the Holy Spirit far more than I care to. God’s blessings to you and Mr. Butch ma’am.
What a beautiful letter! In every moment of life, I pray I will show His love to others. I fall short at times. But God forgives me and helps me find the right path. Have a Merry Christmas! I pray you and Ms. Diane are filled with peace and joy.
It sure is Ms. Melissa. I’m so glad I was able to share it with you this year ma’am. It’s one I keep stored away for those times when I need an infusion of God’s love to remind me that I am His. God’s blessings sweet friend.
Love is the reason God hates sin. Love killed sin at the cross. There is no greater love than what God has shown to us. Thank you, J.D. and Merry Christmas!
Oh, how I love this thought Ms. Barbara; “Love killed sin at the cross.” Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today ma’am. God’s blessings and Merry CHRISTmas. Know that you are your husband will be “home” in our hearts this CHRISTmas ma’am.
Last week I was reading in Ephes. 3 about putting our roots into God’s love which is described as being beyond comprehension. Thank you, J.D. for another reminder to focus on His love.
Amen Ms. Debbie. His roots are embedded deep within His children; and they are surrounded by the soil of His love. What a beautiful image your words create ma’am. Thank you!
J.D., yes indeed this post is about your farm animals. I really like the John Calvin quote and how you unpacked the love letter from the Lord. Especially, “I mean that faith, hope, and love are spiritual gifts that once you receive them, they last forever.” And the greatest is love!
Indeed it is the greatest my friend. God’s blessings; and best wishes for a very Merry CHRISTmas this year ma’am.
It is the Season of Love when God’s greatest gift of love was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Although love sometimes hurts (if we don’t experience the joy of love, we wouldn’t know the pain of loss), we know love is from God. The Bible tells us that “love comes from God” and that “we love because He first loved us.” What a wonderful gift. Thank you, my friend, for this message of love. Merry CHRISTmas to you and Diane.
It certainly is “the season of love” Ms. Katherine. And while we should all endeavor to follow your example of showing God’s love the year round, I do pray that folks take just a few moments and reflect on all the blessings in our lives, as undeserving as we are, and the boundless love God has for each of us. Enough love to have loved us even when we were/are covered with sin. God’s blessings ma’am. Please know Ms. Diane and I are praying for you during this season of life ma’am.
Thanks, JD, for the timely reminder of the depth and breadth of God’s love for us. Without His love, where would we be? I’ve printed out the Father’s Love Letter you offered. What a nice gift. Thank you for providing the link.
How kind of you to include my book in your weekly post and for your encouraging review. YOU are a wonderful expression of God’s love, and it’s a pleasure to know you and be counted as your friend.
I pray Diane is feeling better and wish you and yours the merriest Christmas ever. Blessings.
You are far too kind Ms. Starr, but I’ll take it and be grateful for your friendship ma’am. I hope your “glamping trip” was the success you dreamed it would be. I loved the photos of the falls and scenery. Thank you for sharing “For the Love of Emma” with us. As my Ms. Diane is recovering from an illness, I read her a few chapters each night. When I’m lucky, I finish before she falls asleep. I have that effect on folks. LOL God’s blessings ma’am; and congratulations on this debut novel; the first of many more I should think.
I really like your reference to 1Cor. 13:13. I have spoken on this verse from the teachers platform as well as the pulpit. It is a verse we should all have tattooed on our memory. Sometimes I think I need to get my tattoo rehighlighted as it begins to fade.
Am so pleased you both enjoyed and appreciated sir. Thank you for adding to our conversation sir.
This is a beautiful Christmas message.
“Love is core to God’s character, and it should be the central theme in the lives of Christians.”
I’m also thankful that the fruit of the Spirit, including love, can kick in when my love has reached its limit. He loves through us where we fall short.
Oh, how very true Ms. Dottie. When it seems we just can’t love anymore, and if we let Him, God will step in and give us His love with which to go one step further. I love this wonderful example ma’am. Thank you so much for sharing. God’s blessings, Merry CHRISTmas, and Happy Hanukkah my sweet friend.
Yours is the second post I’ve read today about the Word being God’s love letter to the world. I also love the Father’s Love Letter down load. So full!
Two weeks ago I taught 1 Corinthians 13 to my middle graders kids at church. The were a bit embarrassed at first, but then dug in and saw how that wonderful Fruit of the Spirit looked in life..
Thank you for the nod to the book For The Love of Emma. Wow – Bridges of Madison County and Romeo and Juliet! What a review.
Am humbled. Thank you so much Ms. Jackie. That must’ve been some amazing lesson ma’am.
I’m so thankful for God’s Word. There I find love, faith, hope, peace, and joy. Great is His faithfulness!
Oh, absolutely ma’am. How can we even function without it? I don’t know that I even could any longer. God’s blessings ma’am.
Let me just say, my friend, that I appreciate and love your weekly blogs. Though I have been much too bogged down these past months, your blogs lift me up and offer perspective in this world of hurt. Thank you for your faithfulness in writing, for your heart of encouragement, for your prayers of tenderness, and for the love of animals on your ranch and beyond.
Thank you for such kindness and words of encouragement Ms. Karen. Both are highly valued and much appreciated ma’am.