Today I will wrap-up my thoughts on Sally Clarkson’s book Own Your Life. In the last part of this book, the main theme running through all the chapters is “Love”. What a fitting theme for the month of February! I love Sally’s thoughts in these chapters on love.
“…measure your life by how well you have loved. In the moment that you love well, you are the most like Jesus.” “God is much more concerned with your love than with your service.” (pg. 181)
“God is the ultimate lover. Marriage is meant as a picture of our Bridegroom, Jesus, and His never-ending, unconditional love. He initiates and pursues a relationship with us. He values us so much that He gave up His life for us. He promises never to leave us or forsake us; He says that nothing can separate us from His love. He forgives us for all past, present and future failures; and He is preparing an indescribably beautiful place where we will celebrate and enjoy life with Him for all eternity.” (pg. 208)
Living life intentionally involves loving well. But, how can one love truly and fully if one hasn’t truly and fully experienced the love of God.
We sang one of my favorite hymns of all time at church today- “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain?” by Charles Wesley.
And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!
‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more. [Refrain]
He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me. [Refrain]
Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee. [Refrain]
No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own. [Refrain]
My favorite line is, “‘Tis mercy all, immense and free; For, O my God, it found out me.” God’s love and mercy are so immense and so free and oh how grateful I am that He found me!
If I could only understand a fraction of the love that God has for me- how much better I would love and serve those around me. This is my challenge for you this week- drink deeply of the love of God so that you can in turn love well. This is the life God has called us to as Christians- to love well.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV)
I highly encourage you all to read Sally’s book if you haven’t already. It has been very challenging, convicting and encouraging to me.