February 2023

Living in His Love
Anna could not contain her joy and delight. The prince loved her! She reached down and fondly touched the love letter he had sent her, which told of the enormous ransom he’d paid on her behalf to purchase her for himself. Such love defied her understanding.
The knowledge of the prince’s love put a sparkle in each task Anna undertook. As she washed the dishes, she would remind herself of portions from the prince’s letter. Slowly, his love was changing her. The things that used to worry or upset her could not touch her now–after all, she belonged to the prince and would soon be taken to his castle. What did these petty problems matter?
And what did it matter what people thought of her? The prince loved her–loved her unconditionally–and had paid a ransom for her. She had been a slave, and had lived her whole life cursing and despising the king and his prince. Yet the prince had bestowed his love upon her anyway, and had paid a huge ransom to redeem her from her self-imposed slavery.
The more Anna got to know her prince, the more she grew amazed at his love, and the more she longed to tell others of his love. How could she keep such love to herself?
This joy and peace continued for quite some time. Gradually, though, something began to change. Anna stopped thinking about her prince’s love as much. She began thinking more about herself and the daily tasks of life. She grew more irritable–and discouraged. You see, she wanted to live like a good bride-to-be, and she knew she should be joyful and loving to those around her. So she got busy trying to be joyful and to love others, but kept ending in miserable failure.
Anna still read the prince’s love letters, but rather than pondering his love while reading, she began pondering how she ought to behave and act to please her prince. Her focus changed, and she began trying to manufacture her own joy, love, and peace, rather than letting them flow out of the realization of her prince’s love.
One day while scrubbing a tarnished pot, the engagement ring on her finger caught Anna’s eyes. She touched it, remembering how happy she’d felt when she had first opened and received the prince’s gift, slipping the ring on her finger as a seal of his love.
The ring brought with it the remembrance of the prince and his unconditional love for her despite her having nothing loveable. As Anna pondered anew her prince’s love, she realized how foolish she had been. She’d let so many cares rob her of the joy of living in his love!
Maybe you too have allowed the cares of life to rob you of your original joy. Maybe it’s time to refocus our thoughts on the unconditional love the Lord has bestowed on us.
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8: 35-37
Pastor J.R.