Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Loving and Dieing

We know we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
1 John 3:14

My sweet former father-in-law is close to death. Family and Hospice workers tend to his needs as we prepare to say goodbye. I met him when I was just eighteen. Four years later I would marry his son and within six years we would stand together at my husband and his son’s funeral. Last Friday, he held my hand and told me he would be dieing soon, he also told me how he has always loved me and that he hoped he had always been good to me. Thinking back, I cannot remember him ever saying an unkind word to me in the twenty four years I have enjoyed a close relationship with him.

Unless Jesus comes back first we will all die; but the Bible says those who “do not love remain in death”. Like a cancer, unkindness, bitterness and hatred seem to keep so many in a state of sick turmoil. Yet, the Bible says those who love their brothers pass from death to life. The funny thing about love is how freeing it can be. It not only frees us from apology at our death bed but also frees us to live our days in true “life”. I have had to stop and ponder my life this week… has it been characterized by love? Do I see the best in people? Do I offer them mercy and grace? Am I kind to random strangers and (sometimes even more difficult) those who I call family? Do I love my enemies and experience the freedom this brings or do I give them power to keep me in turmoil by staying bitter towards them? It isn’t always easy to love but it is always worth it.

This time of year – this Christmas time of year – what will you choose? Will you choose a life of love or remain miserably living in death? The gift of love you choose (yes decide) to give others may be the greatest gift you can give yourself second only to choosing the greatest gift of all – a personal relationship with the One who loved the unlovely (us) first. Choose love… Jesus did and you can too with His help.

Father, thank you for your Word which is life. Thank you for your Holy Spirit which is power to love even the unlovely. Thank you Lord for loving me first and thank you for the freedom which comes from loving you and and loving others. May my life be one lived without regret and may I love others deeply and without reservation so I can walk in freedom and give glory to your Name. Amen.