For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
RECEIVING AND GIVING TRUE LOVE
This edition of Oasis of Hope is all about receiving and giving true love. What better month to focus on love than the one in which many celebrate Valentine’s Day! It’s become a fun way to share kindness and love to friends and family or other acquaintances. We often give cards or make small valentines and include candy to show someone we care.
But where do we even get the idea of love? Is it just a benevolent or romantic feeling? Or is there a higher love that comes before all of that? Is there a love that goes deeper than a feeling? What is true love? We find these answers in the Bible.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. ~ 1 John 3:16
We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. ~ 1 John 4:16 NASB
WHAT GREAT LOVE GOD HAS FOR US
After all He has done for us how can we not love Him and love others? Well, sometimes that’s easier said than done, isn’t it? We know we should love others but often putting it into practice is harder for a number of reasons. It’s easier to love people we like, but we are commanded to love even our enemies.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! ~
Matthew 5:43-44 NLT
So love really is an action even when the emotion isn’t there. It is because of God’s love that we can love at all. Sometimes it’s hard to even think about showing love to others when we ourselves are in pain or stressed or just overwhelmed by the everyday trials of life. Maybe we think it’s impossible. But what if we are making it too hard by thinking we have to do something big? If we aren’t feeling well, we can still pray for someone, and that is a way to give love.
CREATIVE WAYS TO SHOW LOVE
Explore simple and creative ways to show love as you read Love in Action. Join Becky Hill as she explains in What is My Purpose? Do Small Things with Great Love, how in her pain and darkness she felt like a burden. She wondered how she could bless anyone, but she doesn’t leave it there. Be inspired as you read or listen to her encouraging words.
In each Oasis of Hope we like to include a poetry prompt. Ageless and Timeless, by Cindee Snider Re, doesn’t specifically speak of love, but it will encourage you. With tips and suggestions for writing a simple poem, she shows how easy it can be. Maybe you can write a poem of something or someone you love and give it as a gift. Or what about writing a poem of praise to God? There are so many possibilities.
RECEIVE AND GIVE TRUE LOVE IN KINDNESS
Lastly, we have a beautiful story of love in Radiate Love Through Intentional Kindness by Bettie Gilbert and Pamela Piquette. Listen to their stories as they share about anticipation and kindness and how that kindness radiated love. As you read the prayer at the end, let it be a prompt for you as you pray along and expand it to your own prayer.
Receiving and giving true love doesn’t have to be hard. When we realize how much God loves us, we want to share that love with someone else. It doesn’t have to be a great act or involve money. True love can be shown when you give someone a smile or a word of encouragement. May we remember that love comes from God and He enables us to share it.
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. ~ 1 John 4:7
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we explore creative ways to give and receive love.
Despite chronic pain, despite disabilities and limitations, and despite whatever restrictions you are facing, there is purpose for your life – things only you can do, words only you can say, tasks only you will see need doing. Choose to love daily. It is the highest purpose of your life.
Sometimes intentional kindness begins without much thought. It’s just a risk and reaction in the moment. Then comes the doubt, the fear. Can I really radiate kindness? Without the risk, there is little hope that the hunger for friendship and connection will ever be filled. But with it we radiate love.