Hello friend! I am so glad you are joining the study today! Catch up past posts for our study of First John here. Grab your coffee and your Bible and let’s dive in.
Reading: 1 John 4:7-12
I’ll never forget walking down the aisle to my husband, Greg. My eyes were locked with his and nothing would distract me from my love. He is the only man I’ve ever dated, the only man I’ve ever held hands with, the only man to hold my heart. That day I committed my heart and myself fully to him. We wrote our own vows to each other and mine went like this:
I, Gretchen Elizabeth, give you all of me today.
I promise to love you with the agape love Christ first loved us with.
I promise to submit to God, my First Love, and seek Him with ALL of my heart everyday.
I promise to respect you and honor you as my God-given head.
I promise to encourage you in creative ways and to be your #1 fan.
I promise to reflect grace onto you and to have a changeable spirit as you reflect Christ’s grace onto me.
I promise to go where you go and stay where you stay. I will never leave you or forsake you.
I promise to pray for you and with you as we adventure on this beautiful journey God is leading us on.
I promise to dress myself in love as God’s chosen one, holy & beloved, as your best friend, your sister-in-Christ & your wife until the day we go to be with Jesus!
You are my beloved & You are my best friend.
One thing I’ve learned since the day I became Mrs. Gretchen Saffles is that love does not originate with myself, but with God. As humans, we are not capable to love like Christ apart from Christ. I never realized how much marriage would reveal the junk in my heart. It’s beautiful to have a partner to walk through life with, but when your spouse sees your inconsistencies and sin daily, it can be a struggle at times. That is where the grace of God and the truth of 1 John 4:10-11 comes in to save the day: “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Love originates with God and love compels us to love one another sacrificially. When I said my marriage vows, I meant every word. I prayed over them as I wrote them and even now am reminded that God is the one who ordained those words. But I have learned that I cannot keep them on my own strength. I desperately need Christ to love through me. Everyday I need to preach the Gospel to myself to remember that Christ loved me, therefore I love others.
Love gives more than it receives.
Love blesses instead of curses.
Love sees past sin.
Love rejoices with others (even when others might have what you want).
Love is faithful at all times.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Love without ceasing, sisters. Let us love like Christ. Whether that means selling all of your possessions and flying to the ends of the earth to share the Gospel with unreached people groups, or letting go of your pride and your time and loving your neighbor as yourself. No matter where you are, be loved by Christ and love others from your overflow. Remember, love begins with Christ, therefore we must continually begin each day (and moment) with Him and in His Word.
Meditate on 1 Corinthians 13. Write down what love is and what love isn’t. God is love, therefore God is patient, kind, gentle, etc. Ask the Lord that He would love through you and that you would be able to receive Him love. You cannot give what you haven’t received yourself. God may call you to sacrificially give for someone today, to drop a note in the mail to encourage them or to share the Gospel with them. Or He may be calling you to come away with Him and breathe for a while, soaking in His love and grace. Love begins with God. Let us begin all things with Him.
basking in His love,