For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities not powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord -Romans 8:38-39
Head: When we hear the word perish, we think of death. That's the definition right? Something either dies suddenly, untimely, or in a. violent way. It could also mean a slow perish like when our vegetables rotten. Still John 3:16 tell us "...should not perish..." where believers are concerned.
What we understand from our believers perspective is that every person alive now, has lived, or will live has an eternal soul that will live somewhere forever. Therefore, what does cease to exist is our physical self. As mothers, we tend to find ourselves so stuck in the here and now, it is a stretch to think about eternity. We grieve a time gone by when our babies are little, when they're little we worry about the world's affect on their innocence. As mother's we can be very short sighted concerning the world outside of our children, but they need us to keep an eternal perspective.
...that whoever believes in Him... - John 3:16
Head: Belief is a hinge. In the context of our life, the next move we make is always done so with a hinge moment of belief. We might believe it's safe to jump from a high dive, or not. We might believe that a bite of food is too spicy, or not. We might believe that our children are capable of more than they even believe, or not. Decision making is always rooted in some level of belief or lack of.
Jesus tells us 5 times in the course of 4 verses about belief. (see John 3:15-18). Quite a lot of emphasis placed on belief. There is a life and death urgency placed on belief and the choices we make concerning what we believe to be true. God gave us Christ. He is our only access, the only door, to Heaven. He is the door, but for the door to swing wide for all who enter their hinge must be one of belief. Disbelief is like a broken, rusty, useless hinge. For the door to open, we must only believe.
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? -Romans 8:32
Head: Your children are your most precious belonging. They belong to you and you belong to them. They are precious and priceless to you. You will protect them from harm at at all cost. Never in a million years would you ever imagine having a child simply to watch them sacrifice themselves for humanity. No, you wouldn't put that in your plans and dreams for your children.
The fact is, as humans, we are so far from perfect. We are selfish creatures from our first breath, our only goal is to survive. With perfect spirits and fracture souls we try to navigate this life. We have babies and bring them along on the journey with us. We try to help them navigate this broken world. The fact will always remain that this world is lost and broken. That is why God sent us His only begotten Son into this world. To offer healing and a peace like no other. It is the only way to help us overcome our love and addiction to sin.
Heart: The preciousness of what God did, His gift that showed us his deep love, remain a mystery to us. John (1John 4:9) and Paul (Romans 8:32) both write about this all giving act that shattered the veil that kept us from fully experiencing the closeness of God. It set free the Holy Spirit to be our comforter and friend. Jesus, giving of Himself is equal to God giving of Himself. Jesus is with God. (John 1:1-3). How this is true is part of the mystery we won't understand this side of eternity. Jesus still walked among us as a man, our Deity wrapped in flesh. He walked among us in our filth and dirty living just to love us. Our God incarnate, through man, was still the eternal God himself.
When He gave the most precious gift, His Son, His own "life", He walked into the presence of death and took what belonged to Him. He conquered death, set captives free, atoned for our sins, and rose again in the flesh to show the lost world what He did. Christ basically said... "Here, Hold my Crown. I'm going to fix this once and for all." The enemy was not expecting God to give so freely of Himself, because the enemy would never do such a thing.
Hands: As parents, we can't imagine giving so freely by way of our children. The fact remains that our children were God's long before they were ours. He dreamed of them long before you took your first breath. While we would never sacrifice our children, we should love them sacrificially. There comes a day when we as parents, quite often, that we fall completely short of meeting our child's needs. We are flesh who love our sin and addictions. While Christ sets us free from them we have to accept and embrace the freedom fully by living in complete submission. We also, have to give our children back to God all the while remembering that He loves them more than we could ever. While our children are priceless to us. They are priceless to our God. His view of the value of life is far different than ours, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. They are exalted above anything we could imagine for our children. Breathe the promises of God into your children every chance you get. Remind them on the regular Who they belong to.
For God so loved... - John 3:16
Head: As mothers, our children look up to us for safety, love, authority, and trust. They find confidence in knowing we are watching to applaud and even to keep them within the boundaries of what is safe. Our children look to us when there is any question of what is right and wrong, it is part of our job as mothers to guide them and show them the way; to navigate this life.
There was a time, prior to Christ, that the world saw our God as One that is strict, with an eye of disapproval and a hand that punished. God was considered an outright tyrant. Even today, those who don't know Him, still believe this about Him. That is why the message of love is so important to share. We can not earn His love because He loved us first.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life. - John 3:16
,Head: The most memorized scripture of the Bible. 25 words. They say dynamite comes in small packages. I imagine this little verse to be a very small little package with all the power of the gospel packed inside. Nothing was left to question. It's clear and to the point. Even an unbeliever, if asked, could tell you exactly what it means. God loves us. This one verse can reach hearts to the end of the earth and it can reach those sitting right at your kitchen table.
I remember watching a the movie, The Passion, and was crushed by the sacrifice Jesus made for us. As a mother with babies I felt the anguish from a mothers perspective. I could never imagine any one of my children suffering such a death because of false accusations and hate. The verse itself came to life before my eyes and my soul grieved for Jesus and all who loved Him. I often wonder, how can I teach my children just how much they are loved. How can I show them the true, deep, profound, good news that they are SO loved.
Here! Hold My Crown! Is a forthcoming devotional for mothers. Written by Aimee Larsen, a mother of 5 children. She walked through having a premie, infertility, miracles, foster care, and adoption.