“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” 1 John 4:7-12
There are many ways we use the word “new” in our vocabulary. One way is when we use it to redescribe a word we have been already using. When we do this we want our hearers to be mindful that we want them to think differently about the words meaning. One example is Math when at some point it started be called the “new” math. I’m not sure what made it different from the math I learned, but my brain was being told it was.
I want to challenge you all to look at love in a new way. Most of our frame of reference for love comes from our families or the people we were raised by. For some that was a good and caring love. For many others that love was harsh, hurtful, uncaring, judgmental, critical, and the list can go on.
God introduces us to a new love. This love is patient, kind, caring, forgiving, compassionate. This love was sacrificial as demonstrated by Christ on the cross.
God has now called us, His children, to love like that. He wants us to love in a new way, to love others in a way they have never known. Our light shines when we are showing the world something clean and refreshing. There are so many today striving for the love of God. Do you love in such a way that they see God as offering a new kind of love?
At Barbara’s Place, our first job and role is to show women who have been hurt by those that claimed to love them that there is a new kind of love, a love that is kind, compassionate, patient, forgiving, unconditional. I am sure you can think of people in your life that need to see and experience love in a new and fresh way.
As we celebrate Easter and a love so sacrificial it changed our lives forever, think about how you can more and more offer that kind of love to the people in your life.
We can draw people to Christ by our love or we can make people run from God by our lack of love. Let others know you are a Christian, and God is safe, by your love.
Dr. Lynne Jahns
Lynne Jahns is a Christian counselor and holds the honor of being the first Director of Barbara’s Place at America’s Keswick, a residential addiction recovery ministry for women. Lynne is married to Bill Jahns, who also serves on staff at America’s Keswick as the Director of Housekeeping. When not working and studying, Lynne loves to be outdoors and to travel. Family is very important to both Lynne and Bill and a lot of free time is spent with relatives and close family friends. Lynne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Cedarville University in Ohio, a Master of Arts degree from The College of New Jersey in Community Counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from Louisiana Baptist University.