Saturday, April 4, 2015

But First, Love

I ask my husband all the time, "Why did you marry me?" He always says, "Because I love you!" And that makes me so warm and happy inside. Despite all of my faults, obnoxiousness and a face like mine, he loves me and chose to marry me and love me forever. Happy sigh.

So as I'm reflecting on the Easter season and pondering my Savior's death and Resurrection, I am realizing more and more that Jesus didn't have to die a horrific death. He didn't have to go through the pain, the abuse, the torture. But He did it anyway, and He did it willingly. For one reason.

Because He loves me.

Plain and simple, it was purely love for me.

Interestingly, it's becoming popular to preach GRACE. In my interactions with several different denominations, I am seeing that it is quite the trend. But you know what came first? Love came first. Love always comes first.

Yes, yes, of course grace must be preached! Of course," is by grace that you have been saved", but friend, it was because of His great love with which He loved us (even when we were dead in our transgressions), made us alive together with Christ! We must not lose sight of the precious love of Christ in our attempts to elevate grace.

I experienced first hand "GRACE" being "shown" to Christ. But there was not one shred of love shown when the "GRACE" of God was shown hurled in my direction. Grace and love go hand in hand. Correction, LOVE then GRACE go hand in hand. It was hard to accept the 'gift' of grace when love was not anywhere in sight.

Love must always be shown first. Grace happens next. Think about this: grace is a gift. Love is the very nature/characteristic of God. He IS love; He gives grace. We are admonished to be like Christ and emulate Him, first by loving others (hard? oh, yes!) and second, by showing grace (also hard!).

It would be awful difficult for my husband to give me grace in all of my shortcomings if he didn't love me first, don't you think?

Praise God that Jesus loves me and you so very much, such pure and simple love, that He died in our place.

This is a picture of five pink roses Mr. B gave me when he was dating me. He wanted me to know that he saw God's grace in my life and the number 5 represents grace.

This is a picture of my wedding bouquet, also with five pink roses, symbolizing God's grace in bringing the two of us together.

"For God SO LOVED THE WORLD, that He gave His only Son..."

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