John 3:16 – For God so Loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life
When thinking of ways of describing the power that love brings, I can only cast my mind back to that moment Jesus died on the cross. That moment was a powerful act of love, one that everyone is synonymous with. You could drop that and let people think on that but I want to describe a relationship where love defeated hate.
In Acts 15 we see the relationship between Paul and Barnabas reach a critical point. They had been everywhere preaching the word. They now want to go back and see how everyone is doing but somewhere along we have an added element, John Mark. He abandoned Paul at Pamphylia and went on his way, up until now we still don’t know why that happened but sure you can imagine what was going through Paul’s mind.
At Antioch is where things came to a head, Paul told Barnabas that it would be wise for John Mark to not accompany them on this mission. Barnabas and Paul parted due to that disagreement, Silas then joined Paul instead.
Forward onto 2 Timothy, Paul is now in the last moments of his life on earth, he tells Timothy something which I believe is very powerful.
‘Only Luke is with me, Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful for me in my ministry’
Wow, what a significant moment, the love that Paul has for John Mark can now overlook what happened in Pamphylia and now bring him forth into the ministry.
In the world, most people wouldn’t give a second chance to someone who had abandoned them but when you have love for someone, what they did is consigned to the history books and remembered no more. It could have been easy for Paul to disregard John Mark but he didn’t, he deemed him valuable for the ministry.
Can you think of a time when someone showed you a powerful act of love?
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs
1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins
Romans 5:7-8 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.