I love a coincidence because as a God-follower, I know there’s no such thing. Every seemingly innocuous happenstance is a tune in the orchestration the Creator has written for my life.
That’s why I smiled as I took notes in my 2023 Christian Planner during a recent sermon. I admit, I like a nice planner. I have a row of used ones on my shelf. Maybe they’re keeping track of my story, but mostly I hate tossing those pretty things.
This is the second time I’ve laid out the cash for the hardbound Christian Planner. It has the layout I prefer—monthly calendar followed by weekly calendars. The only thing it doesn’t have that I really like in a planner is tabs.
But that has nothing to do with the non-coincidence that happened recently on a Sunday morning. One thing the planner has that most don’t is a place for a weekly devotional or sermon notes. The lined page is across from a blank page for doodling or more visually appealing notetaking.
It’s not a completely blank page. There’s a verse at the top. That week the verse was 1 John 5:3.
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments1 John 5:3a KJV
Halfway through the sermon, the pastor moved to his second point about how we should resolve to obey God in this new year. He called out his next reference. I bet you’ve already guessed it was 1 John 5:3.
A smile crept up unawares. My heart clapped with joy. That day, God had a special message for me from this verse.
While the pastor rightly used it to remind us of our obligation to obey the commandments in God’s Word, God used it to give me another message.
If I love God, he wants me to choose to do the things that please him. My good choices which result in obedience are his love language (how he receives love from me).
How the verse rendered in my heart: When we choose to keep God’s commandments, God sees how much we love him.
Obedience isn’t an obligation. It’s a privilege to return a fraction of unconditional love to the one who saved us from sin and reserves a place in Heaven for us.
Obedience looks like love to the God above.
What does love look like to you?