Powerful Love, Life Changing Love

‘All real, life-changing love is costly, substitutionary sacrifice ...In John 17:26 Jesus prays, “I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.” What an amazing prayer He prayed for us in this priestly prayer. To those who have believed in Jesus, He has made known His name to us. Yet He promises the Father that He will continue to make it known. And, why will He do that? So that the very love that the Father loves the only begotten Son with might be in us and that He might be in us. What an amazing promise. As we know the Son we will experience the love of God that He experiences because He will be living in us.

The question before us today is do we know this love on an experiential basis. Because if we do it is life changing and can’t be contained. It will spill out of us into the lives of those we love. It will shape and define our teaching. It will be evident in our discipline of our children. It will permeate our relationships.

I don’t know about you but I think that in my life there is much left for me to learn about Jesus’ name because I am lacking in the area of loving well. I tend to be selfish, and short sighted. I struggle at times with forgiveness and putting others needs above my own.

I listened to a sermon by Tim Keller, “Beholding the Glory of Christ,” It was an amazing sermon that cut me to my core. It challenged me in my thinking, in my living, and in my teaching, When I teach the children am I giving them a set of do’s and don’t’s or am I giving them a glimpse of Jesus and allowing His love to transform their lives? It is the only thing that truly can transform a life.  

I want my knowledge of Jesus Christ and His great love for me to change me, to change the way I live, the way I love, the way I teach. Peter says it like this in 2 Peter 1:2-4 “May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!  I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.”

This is my prayer for myself. This is my prayer for every Christian parent or teacher in this world. May grace and peace be lavished on us as we grow in the rich knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. May this grace and love change us from the inside out until we each become more and more and more like Jesus.

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

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