by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC, Mental Health Coach,
Keynote Speaker, CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries
Week 4 of Advent: Love
Love is more than just a word – it’s a verb. If someone says, “I love you,” but their actions don’t demonstrate love, we likely are not going to believe that person loves us. When we love someone, we show them in the things we do for them, how we speak to them and about them, and how we take care of them. God demonstrated His love for us in all of these ways. But the biggest way He demonstrated His love for us was in sending Jesus to be born of a virgin and laid in a manger so that he would grow up to be nailed to a cross, die, and rise from the dead so that we could have eternal life.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
— Romans 5:8
It’s easy to love those that love us back. Those who treat us well, with respect. We find it easy to love people who are like us. We love our friends, parents, children, siblings, and extended family. Hopefully, its easy to love your spouse. But what about loving those who are unlovable, different, hard to get along with, or those who have hurt us in some way?
The difference in how we love others from how God loves us, is that even when we were His enemy and lost in sin without Christ, God still sent Jesus to die in our place and be the propitiation for our sins. When he died on the cross, Jesus appeased the wrath of God caused by our sin. It was the reason that Jesus came to earth. He was sent by God as a demonstration to us of how much God loves us. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Did you know you are a “whoever?” It doesn’t matter what you’ve done (or are doing now). Your past doesn’t matter. How you grew up doesn’t matter. Your financial status doesn’t matter. Your political party doesn’t matter. There are no “big” or “little” sins in God’s eyes. We have all sinned and fall short of His glory. So each and every one of us is a “whoever.” That’s good news! Because whoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have eternal life. You just have to believe by faith that Jesus is the Son of God who was born, lived, died, and rose again to pay the price for your sin. Then by faith, you accept His free gift of salvation and acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. If you’ve done that, then eternal life is yours. If you haven’t, it can be yours right now.
Romans 10:9-10 says that “if you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” In the words of J.D. Greerer, “J.D Greerer, “It’s not the prayer that saves; it’s the repentance and faith behind the prayer that lays hold of salvation.
What is repentance?
In the Old Testament, two Hebrew words help us understand repentance. The first is the word “nacham,” which means to turn around or to change the mind. The second is the word “sub.” It is used over 600 times in the Old Testament and is translated by such words as “turn,” “return,” “seek,” “restore.” You see it very often in phrases like “to turn to the Lord with all your heart.”
When you come to the New Testament there is one word you need to know — the Greek word metanoia, which literally means “to change the mind.” Repentance fundamentally means to change your mind about something. It has to do with the way you think about something. You’ve been thinking one way, but now you think the opposite way. That’s repentance — the changing of the mind.
Repentance is a perfect description of what happens when you come to Christ. You no longer reject Christ, but now you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. You do a spiritual about-face, which in turn changes everything.
And not only do you change your mind about Christ, but you change your mind about sin as well as you discover what it really means to honor God. You realize that it’s no longer about performance. It’s about a heart attitude that confesses Christ and seeks to honor Him in every aspect of life!
Repentance is the demonstration of our Love to God
God demonstrated His love to us through His Son, Jesus. Jesus demonstrated His love for us by sacrificing His life in our place to pay the ages for our sin. Repentance is one way we demonstrate of our love to God. Once we have placed our faith in Christ and become a Christian, we can not ever lose our salvation. Yet, we’re still human and humans sin – every day. So repentance is something we do over and over.
Thankfully, Jesus’ payment for our sins, covers all our sins – every single one of them. But neither is our salvation an excuse to go on sinning. If repentance has occurred, then our mind and heart has changed toward how we think and feel about sin. As we grow in Christ, we should find ourselves sinning less and less. We will have a heart that out of our love for God, we want to do what honors and glorifies Him. As we live in obedience to Him, we continue to demonstrate our love to Him.
Visit our three retail experiences:
Tee of the Week: Walk by Faith
Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?
We’re offering 30% off our speaker fees as our gift to you if you book any 2022 event with us by December 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: CHRISTMAS2021. .
We’re thankful for the opportunity to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.
Help support our ministry:
Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube
Ready for Christmas music?
We’ve created a YouTube Christmas playlist (click here) of both Christian and fun Christmas music to enjoy while you decorate for the holidays and help you get those gifts wrapped, cookies baked, and all the other preparations you are doing this holiday season. So click the link and listen to our Christmas playlist in the car, at home, or while you work.
Need some relaxing Christmas tunes? Here’s a smooth Jazz playlist to sit back and with it quietly in the background while at the office, wrapping gifts, or decorating the house. We hope you’ll enjoy the songs of the season – jazz style.
You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.
Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More
Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.
Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.