One thing I have noticed that has not changed a whole lot over the past sixty plus years of my life is that most people love enjoying eating a good cookie. It seems if you are going to have people over or you need something pretty safe to put out for people to snack on, cookies can be a good choice. It’s called a comfort food, makes people feel comfortable.
Not everyone likes the same type of cookie, but there are some cookies most people will eat at least one without twisting their arm. My observation over the years is the chocolate chip cookie is probably the hardest cookie for most of us to turn down.
If you want to see a kid smile, or a grandpa, offer them a cookie, especially one made by Grandma just pulled out of the oven, golden brown and steaming hot.
I think we all got the message, one word created an image we could all relate to, the word “cookie.” We could also imagine the joy of eating a cookie too. We all have the ability to create or imagine with our minds images from just one word.
There was another word I used. Love. With Valentine’s Day a few weeks away now, Love had a different meaning in our minds than, “I love to eat chocolate chip cookies.”
Love is a “Power” word that has the ability to change people’s lives. We don’t need cookies all of the time, but, love helps us if we have the love of God in our lives as much as possible.
So let me ask you, “How is your love life?” Are you getting love in your life? We were all created with a built in receiver that requires love. There are different kinds of love, but what I am talking about here is the Agape kind of love. Agape is the God kind of Love. The Greek word agape means “unconditional love.” Most love we know is conditional. But there is a love that we all need to know that is unconditional.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only beloved Son, that who so ever believes in Him should not die, but should have forever, everlasting life.” John 3:16
The bible says that this love is unconditional. In other words, it is free, you don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to come from a preferred lineage to inherit it, in fact, if you tried to deserve it, it would be impossible. This love was intended to be shared with all men according to our creator God since the foundation of the earth. We all need to know we are unconditionally loved by God no matter what our lives have been like.
Paul says this prayer for us in knowing God’s Love from Ephesians 3: 18, 19 “And I pray that you and all God’s holy people (that’s you and me) will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love-how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.”
I didn’t always know this love until I met Jesus. My parents loved me when I was growing up, but, most of that love seemed conditional. It was natural to have to earn love in our house. Even when I first heard the good news that Jesus loved me, I didn’t fully understand God’s love for me until later when I read this passage from St. Paul.
Another word God gives us that is not hard to imagine is “taste.” We have the sense of taste to enjoy eating foods like cookies. There is another use of the word “taste” that makes it a more powerful word. In Psalm 34 verse 8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Through God’s inspiration to King David, who was at the time going through a tough time, knowing his life was threatened, God comforted King David to just try and “taste and see how good it is for your soul to trust God with your whole life.” David knew that God loved him, but just how much did God love him? We know that everything worked out for King David at that time he was going through heavy tribulation. Looking back, King David knew that God loved him enough to tell him, “Don’t worry about your life, you are the apple of my eye and I will always be with you,” kind of trust.
Let me tell you this truth friends, God loves us with the same agape love that He loved King David with. Yes, God is the God of Love. When we allow God to love us, His love changes us. His agape Love is like a seed planted in our hearts that comes from God. That seed is a seed of His own Holy Spirit that changes our lives to become more like Jesus. A seed of faith is placed into our hearts to help us to know Jesus, His Word among us and the Power of His love. That seed is so powerful, Jesus tells us that both He and the Father will come to live in us, through the Holy Spirit and give us all we need through God’s presence in our lives.
How do we get this seed of love? Just ask Jesus to come into your life with a contrite heart and He comes into your heart just like that. He comes into our lives and then He does the rest of the good work in us because He is the author and finisher of our faith, as the bible says. Asking forgiveness for our sins, repenting all comes from experiencing Christ’s love in our lives. As Jesus shares His life with us in the same skin we were born in, we become transformed into Jesus likeness.
Try to read God’s word each day and check out God’s love for yourself. Start with the Gospel of John and read it slowly. Meditate on God’s word by reading one verse or passage over and over again, like chewing on a piece of meat to “Taste and see the Lord is Good.”
Mark Conway is an evangelist who lives in Sterling with his wife Maryna. They host a Christian retreat center in Sterling in July. For more information on the retreat center, email Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.