For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Lee Bramlett is a missionary that works with the Hdi culture, translating the Bible into their language.
One night in a dream, God urged Lee to look up the word “love” in Hdi. In his study of the language, Lee had found that verbs in Hdi always end in “A”, “I”, or “U”. He looked for the word “love” and found forms of it ending in “A” and “I”. Why no “U”? In search of an answer, he asked the Hdi translation committee.
Lee asked, “Could you ‘dvi’ your wife?”
The translators replied, “Yes. That would mean you used to love your wife. Now the love is gone.”
Then Lee asked, “Could you ‘dva’ your wife?”
“You could,” answered the leaders. “It would be love based off your wife’s actions. You would love her as long as she cleaned the house, cooked the meals, and remained loyal to you.”
Finally Lee asked, “Could you ‘dvu’ your wife?”
The leaders laughed. “Of course not! If you said that, you would have to continue loving your wife no matter what she did, even if she never got you water, never made you meals. Even if she committed adultery, you would be compelled to just keep on loving her. No, we would never say ‘dvu.’ It just doesn’t exist.”
Lee thought quietly for a minute and then he said, “Could God ‘dvu’ people?”
Now it was the leaders turn to be silent for several minutes. Then tears started to trickle down their faces. “Do you know what this would mean? This would mean that God continued loving us over and over, millennia after millennia, while all that time we rejected His great love. He is compelled to love us, even though we have sinned more than any people.”
One simple vowel, and the meaning was changed from “I love you based on what you do,” to “I love you based on who I am and who I created you to be.”
I think sometimes we forget how much God loves us and how much He sacrifices for us. We live life as if we don’t owe God our entire existence. Other times, we think He loves us because of what we do and how much we accomplish. We try to do enough good actions to counteract our wrong actions, to make us worthy of God’s love. But it’s not possible to right our wrong with our good. Neither is it possible to make God love us anymore since He already loves us to the max! God loves us for who He created us to be no matter what we’ve done.
Instead of trying to earn His love or living like His love doesn’t matter, we need to accept God’s love and let His light shine through us, making us more like Him everyday.
My name’s Danielle Dodge. I’ve found it’s a hard job to summarize fourteen years of life into a small paragraph so I’ll just mention a few things. I’m an avid writer and reader. I love to write young adult fiction/fantasy novels and devotionals. I’m a ballerina, a violinist, an amateur photographer and an amateur horseback rider. I like BIG words, bright colors, cats, and of course, chocolate. And if you didn’t guess already, I’m a born again Christian, follower of Jesus Christ.
I watched my hometown below me shrink as the plane took flight. A tear rolled down my face as I thought, nine weeks is a really long time to be this far away from home all by myself. I knew God had led me to this summer internship in Nicaragua, but I was still a little nervous.
The following weeks flew by way so fast that I didn’t want to leave. I was so blessed to be a part of projects that changed my life and I also met some of the most beautiful people I have ever known. I came to love my Nicaraguan brothers and sisters in Christ and through them, God taught me how big and wonderful the body of Christ really is.
The best part about living in Nicaragua this summer was waking up every day with one agenda; to love, serve, and encourage in the name of Jesus. That was my job description, my goal, and my everyday mission. Instead of asking, what do I have to do today? I constantly asked myself, how can I love others and serve Jesus today? When I lived that way, my eyes were opened to see God working all around me. When I poured out love to the people of Nicaragua, God poured it right back into my lap.
But we don’t have to be on a mission trip to live that way. Wherever we go, our only focus every day should be to pour out the love of Christ, to serve, and to share the greatness of our God. When we give wholeheartedly, God returns it to us in a measure that is pressed down, shaken, and running over the brim.
For more stories about my summer in Nicaragua, visit my blog at: http://www.seesomethingmore.blogspot.com
Ashli Roussel, a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Harding University, is passionate about sharing the truth and love of the Lord through writing. She loves camping, running, playing the piano, and participating in missions. Most of all, she is passionate about knowing, following, and serving her Lord and Savior. Without Him, her stories would mean nothing.
Ashli has battled and overcome an eating disorder, which God used to teach her great truths about who He is and how He is involved in our struggles. Now she desires to comfort others with the comfort that she has received from God. Keep an eye out for Ashli’s regular articles on iBegat.com! (read more…)