We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
– (1 John 4:16, 17)
Work, changes in life, retreats, conflict, good books, grief, great conversations, times to listen, eye opening experiences, laughter, youthful (or the lack thereof) energy, prayer, opportunities to envision, loved ones, times to be quiet, priorities, valleys, moments with children, always tasks, much thankfulness. There is so much in life! Our days can be particularly full at times and sometimes our heads spin. What is constant? The saying goes that one thing we can count on is change. I don’t know if you have ever found yourself longing for that which you can depend? I have.
In Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, the verses above were highlighted. I decided I needed to meditate on this portion of John’s first letter. And better yet, I thought, “Why not work out while you meditate?” I wrote the scripture out on a recipe card, attached the verses to our ski machine and started my work out.
God is love. It is not that He loves when He chooses or when we have been particularly good. It is a state of being, unchanging. Paul prayed that we would know this love in a prayer that many quote as their favourite.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14 – 19 (NIV)
I can live immersed in the reality and steadfastness of God’s love. That is the constant in life. No matter what, love can be known in God. God is love. After allowing that truth to sink into my soul and taking some deep breaths, I moved to verse 17.
“In this world, we are like Jesus.” That statement hit me as one of assumption and purpose and description, all wrapped up in one. The ‘we’ factor was brought into the picture. We are like Jesus. Not me, not you, but we. As we give grace, as we share life with others, as we turn all our strength over to God so that we can know His power in weakness, as we live in the constant of His love; we do not have to be blown over by the winds of change. And we have a constant purpose.
I reread the verses. The completeness of God’s love is known “in them”; love is made complete ‘among us’, ‘we are’ like Jesus. Only through relationship with others can we have the chance to give and receive grace– the life giving gift that is only ultimately known in the life of Jesus Christ and in His coming again to receive His bride, the church, the body of Christ. God’s love is constant, but only made complete when people can see Jesus through us.
It all gives new definition to a full body work out!