Jordan Ministries
Embracing God's Promise of Abundance When Hardship Endures
The Greatest Gift is Love
by Jenny on March 14th, 2015

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples." John 13:35

Many of us celebrated Valentine's Day one month ago today. But it was yesterday that I received one of the greatest expressions of love. It came in the form of a quilt made by hands from half-way around the world. A quilt made just for me and my son-to-be.

Relatively speaking, I have all I need for our next baby (I mean c'mon, it's baby #5!). We have all the major necessities that North Americans think they need for a newborn. I have a crib, a stroller, linens, burp-cloths (more like burp-parkas with the way our little ones tend to spit up), clothes and even blankets. But you see, the gift I received met more than a material need, it met an emotional need . . . the need for humility.

After receiving the package yesterday afternoon I sat down by our fireplace. I could see on the shipping label that the package had come from Africa. For several minutes I felt too afraid, almost too ashamed to open the package. I know how much it costs to ship packages half-way around the world. What could I have needed so badly that these believers would spend that kind of money on me?

Out of respect for the senders (and at the urging of my children) I opened the gift. Inside the package was this
Why would this group of women, who have so little for themselves, sacrifice time and resources to send me this precious piece of work? Their gift seems too extravagant. I feel too unworthy. Yet their actions remind me of the One who extended extravagant acts of love to people deemed most unworthy.

John 3:16 tells us, "God so loved the world that He gave . . . " God gave His Son to save the lives of sinners like you, and like me. Most would call that kind of gift extravagant.

Romans 5:8 reminds us that God sent His Son to die for us "while we will still sinners," at a time when we were most unworthy of such an extravagant gift.

And then God said in John 13:35, This is how the world will know you are Mine . . . when you love, when you give like I have given.

The act of love from my Rwandan sisters made me want to immediately hop on a plane--without regards to how much my children might miss me again (or how big my expecting belly might be)--just so I could hug the necks of these women and tell them how much their gift meant to me. They sacrificed so much for me that I felt an overwhelming desire to do the same for them in return. The moment I absorbed the fullness of the gift I felt ready to do anything to show my appreciation to the givers.

It's the same with God. I listened to a sermon on the radio yesterday as a pastor nullified an old adage, "Saved to Serve." Personally, I'd never really heard that phrase before but the pastor called the saying "hogwash." God did not save us simply so we could serve Him. God doesn't need our service. God saved us because He loves us. Our service to God flows out of gratitude for our salvation, for His love.

Do you realize how much God loves you? If not, let me tell you about God's love. God does more than send us a package half-way around the world. God sent His Son from another world, from a perfect world to our lowly little fallen world just to bring His love to us. His gift cost Him everything but it cost us nothing. It's a gift. We must not only receive the package but open God's gift in faith, and then we can cover ourselves in a quilt of His love.

If you understand God's love for you, would you, out of gratitude for God's gift to you, be willing to let God use you to be an expression of His love to someone in need?

Thank you to the women and pastors of Rugerero Village Baptist Church in Rwanda for serving as a faithful reminder of God's love to my family and me. May God bless you and sustain you. I miss you!

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Crossing Your Jordan

I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling, Bible-teaching mom of six, and wife to my college sweetheart. I believe everyone can live a life of abundance through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and radical obedience to His Word.

Do you have a relationship with God through Christ? If not, I would consider it pure joy to tell you about God, why you need Him, and how to be reconciled to Him through Christ.

If you know Christ as your Savior, do you know how to follow Him as Lord? If, like me, life's challenges have caused you to question whether you truly want to follow God's plan for you, or you simply don't know how to recognize God's ways due to a lack of biblical literacy, I would love to teach you what I've come to know about God through His Word.

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