When I was teaching school, I discovered how vital it was to appeal to my students’ learning styles. Some were visual learners; some were auditory, or even tactile. Not surprisingly, a large number of nursing students are visual learners and I am in this group myself. For the visual learner, I would especially include graphics and charts and point out illustrations in the text. As we also taught in the clinical setting, where the theory is applied, the students observed the practice of nursing in the care of patients and saw many professional role models as they practiced nursing. During this aspect of their education, they were taught by actually seeing, hearing and touching. This part of their training was invaluable as they practiced skills and implemented what they learned in theory.
As we consider how we all learn, I am overwhelmed with how God has so amazingly demonstrated His love, appealing to every person’s learning style. God shows his love in relationships throughout the Bible from the beginning with Adam and Eve and then continuing with the many patriarchs of the Bible. He also shows his faithful love in His relationship with the Jewish people and His commitment to the covenant He made with them. Above all else, the ultimate expression of God’s love is in Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
Jesus Christ, the ultimate expression of love, is our savior and our example of love. Christ walked this earth demonstrating how to live a life of love. 1 John 4:9-10 explains,
“This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…”
I am so thankful that in John 3:16 it says that whoever believes in Christ will be saved. This is a gift from God and the demonstration of His love, but also a very personal invitation. As David Jeremiah explains, “Whoever hears and heeds the words of John 3:16 discovers the conquering love of God and that becomes a turning point for each of us.” All we have to do is accept it. In Romans 10:9 Paul explains further,
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
God showed His love to us in the life of Christ, through His Word, the Bible, and by the Holy Spirit who came to indwell believers after Christ ascended to the Father. Jesus who promised the Holy Spirit explains,
“The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).
Wow, if that isn’t love I don’t know what is. Jesus said we should show His love to others and follow his example that He demonstrated as He walked this earth.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:12-14).
So here we are, back to relationships. God loves us enough to send His Son, Christ to demonstrate God’s love by example, die for our sins, then tell us to show His love to others. Finally, Christ sending the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us as we seek to live a life of love. As Phillip Yancy explained in Prayer Does it Make a Difference, “The entire Bible chronicles God’s effort to renew what was lost on that day in the garden when Adam hid and no longer conversed with God as a friend.” I am so thankful for God’s pursuit of us and His very clear demonstration of what love is.
Holy Father, I pray that Christ will live in our hearts because of our faith. I pray that our lives will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that we and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that we will be able to know that love. Then we can be filled with everything God has for us. With God’s power working in us, he can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:17-21 ERV)
I Pray in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.