1 John 4:7-12 [NIV] | Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 

One snowy winter day, Philip Bliss and his wife were enjoying the holidays in Pennsylvania when they were summoned by Dwight L. Moody to return for a special service. They left their one-year-old and five-year-old sons with their grandparents and boarded the Pacific Express.

While passing over a new trestle bridge, the train suddenly plunged into a ravine as the bridge collapsed beneath them. The wooden train cars fell 75 feet and were on fire within minutes. Philip found his wife pinned inside and determined that if he could not save his wife, he would die with her. He stayed with her till the end, and both died in the flames. Philip was only 38 years old.

A few days after the tragedy, Philip’s trunk arrived in Chicago. His friend opened the trunk, took his last lyrics and wrote the melody to Philip’s final song, “I Will Sing of My Redeemer”. Although Philip didn’t know it at the time, his last song would become one of his greatest works and was one of the first hymns ever recorded on a phonograph.

Philip knew God’s love was the best subject to write about. If we understand and rest in God’s love, it will make us better husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, teachers and servants because it affects how we love other people. Even when tragedy happens, God is love. In the middle of painful situations, we hurt and get emotional and forget that we are deeply loved.

Sometimes, we need to be reminded that God sacrificed His only Son out of love for us. He suffered so we could be redeemed.

Maybe you don’t feel loved right now. Whether you have lost a loved one, are facing a disease, or are in a terrible marriage, God loves you. He sees every tear that falls. Through it all, He can teach you how to love as He loves and He will bring beauty from the ashes.

Love in Action:
Make a list of your blessings, both great and small. Thank God for all of them.

Devotion provided by Adonis Lenzy, and BroadStreet Publishing.