The Final Exam

Do you remember when you had to prepare for your final exams? One of my most anxiety producing exams was a European history exam. The thing about exams is that there is absolutely nowhere to get help from, no to turn to, no books to remind you of key facts, no discussions with others on the course, so it is so much pressure. Although I love history, for some reason the dates and time periods were scrambled in my head when it came to an exam situation. I made charts, I wrote notecards, I stayed up endless hours of the night to study, and actually did well on the final. But it was a stressful week in preparation. Other subjects did not seem to produce the same amount of stress. And that was in high school. College? That was another story. All of my finals produced anxiety. But again, I got through it. I also used to struggle when it came to writing essays for some of my most difficult classes. If only was around when I was younger – their essay writing resources are a popular choice among students today.

One day we will have a final exam when we go to be with Jesus. And you know what? I just wonder if the only thing He asks us is will be, “Did you love well?” I might answer that one way but God knows the true answer to that question. Jesus reminded His disciples of the commandment to love the Lord their God with all of their heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Since this was a commandment, it makes me wonder if this will be the test. Now don’t get me wrong. If you are a believer, have received Jesus into your life, then the most important test was passed. He promises that you and I will be with Him one day:

Jesus said to him, ” I am the Way and the Truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. (John 14:6)

But what I am suggesting is that if Jesus commanded us to love Him completely and in turn love others, we need to consider it as the most important thing that we do in our spiritual lives; from a place of loving God and receiving love from Him, we pour love out onto others. I want to be that kind of person. Do you?

This semester I am teaching a course that I have written called Tearing Down the Fences of Offenses. The course helps us learn how to not take the bait of offense. The most significant way is to learn how to love others, particularly those who are not like us, who don’t like us, who may even be offended by us. God’s love, through Jesus is agape, supernatural love and we cannot drum it up, make it up or pretend to love. It emanates from the throne room of God and is available to us as we spend time in the throne room. What is the throne room? Glad you asked. It is the place of prayer; the place we meet with God and talk to Him and listen. It is the place where the Holy Spirit leads us into a deeper knowledge of who God is and why He sent His Son to forgive us and bridge the sin gap. It is the place where bitterness and anger melt as we allow the Holy Spirit to do a heart check up on us.

Love always wins. In our culture today we see love in action feeding the poor, sharing the Gospel by giving a message of hope, caring for the elderly and the sick. There are so many songs written about love it makes my head spin. But true love, love eternal, can only be accessed through the love of Christ.

So today as the New Year begins, I ask you this question: Have you loved well? Are you willing to make space for God in your busy lives to discover this supernatural love? Then join me the next three weeks via our local classes or streaming and together we will unpack the truth that love covers everything, even offenses.

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