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At Home in God's Love - Girlfriends in God - February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018
At Home in God’s Love
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. (John 15:9, NIV).

Friend to Friend

Our twin grandchildren were born on December 2. Their mom and dad go out of their way to make their birthday special since it is so close to Christmas. But Jodi wanted to make this year’s birthday celebration extra-special since Lelia and Jaydan were turning 10 – the first double-digit birthday!

Jodi and Jered sectioned off half of their basement garage for games like hot potato, beanbag toss, and the old fashioned game of Gossip. Thankfully, the weather co-operated. It was a gorgeous day with fresh, crisp autumn air, clear blue skies, and just the hint of a breeze. The kids played soccer, football, and even one or two games of Red Rover until we remembered why we should not play it any more. It is painful!

Nearly all of the kids in Lelia and Jaydan’s school class came. It was delicious chaos for two hours. After all of the children left, it was family time – time for us to give Jaydan and Lelia our presents. I could tell Jaydan was especially excited as everyone gathered in the living room to witness the unveiling of the long-awaited birthday gifts. Jaydan has developed a love for Legos and knows his Mimi and Papa delight in feeding that love. He was definitely hoping for a Lego set of some kind. 

When Jaydan started to pick up the present we bought him, his mom said, “Jay, why don’t you save that one for last?” Jaydan looked at us and grinned. He then began to open the rest of his gifts, hugging his little brother and sisters, thanking them for their gifts. He reached for our gift and then … oh, yes he did … he shook it! When he heard the rattle sound he had come to love so well, he put one fist in the air and said, “Yes! It’s Legos! Thank you, Mimi and Papa!”

Yes, the gift was a Lego set, but Jaydan had no idea that it was the Lego Ice Tank he had been wanting for months. When he saw the box, Jaydan’s mouth fell open and he said, “I can’t believe it!”

We got some great hugs from Jaydan for those Legos! But I was surprised when Jaydan’s little four-year-old brother, Mo James, gave me a big hug and said, “Thank you, Mimi!” I didn’t understand. “Mo, what are you thanking me for?” I asked. With a sweet smile he said, “For giving my brother such a great gift!”

And a little bit of heaven melted my heart, filling my soul with wonder. I just sat still for a moment, letting the profound truth taught by a child take root.

Mo had not received any presents.

Mo was far too young to play with the Legos Jay had received.

Mo just realized how happy our gift had made his brother and wanted to thank us for giving it to him.

When was the last time you celebrated the success of someone in your life instead of coveting that success?

If we want to live a life full of joy, we must learn to love each other the way Jesus loves us. That is the best kind of love. Jesus said so in John 15:11-12, “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that My joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love(The Message).

Jesus spent the first part of the John 15 describing the love God has for us. He wants us to be at home in that love - to revel in it every minute of every day. God’s love only sees the best in others – no judgment. When we are at home in God’s love, we become a safe place for those who are hurting and broken, those who are lonely and misunderstood.

Today, I encourage you to surrender to God’s fathomless love for you. Don’t try to understand it. Don’t try to earn it. Don’t try to justify it. It is a gift – one you can truly celebrate and one in which you can make yourself at home.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You today in desperate need of Your love. I know I don’t deserve it and could never do enough good things to earn it. I am tired of trying, Lord. I surrender. I give You my heart and my soul and celebrate the way You love me. Please help me love others in the same way.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It’s Your Turn

Read John 15:1-17. Underline the word “love” in each verse. In your journal, write a love letter to God. Pour out your heart to Him and ask Him to help you be at home in His love.

More from the Girlfriends

True love doesn't collapse under pressure or fall apart in the hard times. How can we experience and practice that kind of love? In her CD, Love That Never Fails, Mary shares her story and explains how to define, discover, and experience unconditional love. (Also available as MP3 download.)

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