A Life Well Lived – Day 27

1 John 4:16b – “God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God and God in him.”

On January 1, 2018 I lost my dear Aunt Jill – wife of my mother’s brother and a second mother to me. I was fortunate to live just up the street from my Aunt Jill and her family during my girlhood years. It was with her passing that I was able to truly look back and focus on her life and what made her so very special – not just to me – but to many individuals, including Mark and our children.

When I think of Aunt Jill and why I believe her life was “well lived”, the word that first comes to my mind is “Love”. Aunt Jill loved deeply and without reservation. She showered our family with sticky buns, cookies and other goodies on a regular basis. She was a master seamstress and sewed clothes for me and for her own family as well. When you received a hug from Aunt Jill, you were in her grip for a good ten seconds….going nowhere, to be sure…..and got a smack on the bottom (a love pat, she called them) just for good measure! J Her love extended outward to friends and to her church family as well, where she was known and recognized for her culinary skills and her giving and caring ways. On a mission assignment from the Mennonite Church, my aunt and uncle served at The International Guest House in Washington D.C., taking on the responsibility of host and hostess to many individuals from all over the world. Mark and I were able to see them “in action” as they showed hospitality and the love of Christ to many people.

As Aunt Jill aged and succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, she still recognized her position – her calling – in life when one day, across the kitchen table from my uncle, she stated, “I just want to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord”.

I will never forget my Aunt Jill. She leaves a lasting mark on my heart and on my life. So what about me? What about us? What mark are we leaving? How will I, how will we, be remembered? As Pastor Todd has recently challenged us to “reflect” Christ and His character, the word that has continued to come to me is LOVE. Love more, love deeply, love daily, love others, love recklessly. Love as Jesus loves.

The Scriptures are simply full of teachings on love and I want to challenge us all to reflect on these references (and more if you look at your concordance!), as we prayerfully look to the Lord and what He has to say to us this Lenten season:


On God’s Love:

  • The “love chapter” I Corinthians 13 – and particularly verse 13 that states “and now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.
  • All of Psalm 103, but particularly the character of God reflected in verse 8 – “the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
  • Song of Songs 2:4b “His Banner over me is Love.”
  • John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
  • I John 4:16b “God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God and God in him.”
  • I John 3: 16a “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”
  • I John 3:1a “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
  • I John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”
  • I Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
  • Ephesians 3: 17-19 “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.


Our call to love:

  • I Peter 1:22b “Love one another deeply, from the heart.”
  • Romans 12:9a “Love must be sincere.”
  • Matthew 22: 37-39 Jesus said “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
  • John 15:17 Jesus said, “This is my command, Love each other.”
  • Galatians 5:13b “…serve one another in love.”


And because this love is supernatural – we need the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

  • Galatians 5:22a “But the fruit of the Spirit is Love”….and all those other fruits too, of course!
  • Romans 5:5b “…because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”


I need the Holy Spirit – I can’t love like this on my own. But I want to. Like Aunt Jill, “I just want to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord”. So whether it’s sticky buns, sewing for my grandkids, or hugging folks till they hurt J, I want to love like Jesus.

May we all be touched by the enormous, crazy, wild, reckless love of our Savior this Lenten season. And may we choose to live as closely to Him as we can each and every day, pouring ourselves into His Word and asking the Spirit to use us for His glory. May we reflect His love to everyone in our life’s path. And when our chapter closes, may we be remembered for a life well lived – a life of love.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I thank you for your love expressed on the Cross of Calvary. I praise you for this unspeakable gift of love. I pray that I can express that love to others each day that you give me breath. I thank you for loving me and allowing me to live for you. May my life be a reflection of you and your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

And as a special bonus – if you have access to the internet, you might want to listen to Mercy Me sing an old hymn of the faith that expresses “The Love Of God”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWn
– Barb Schumacher