The Richardsons

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”  – 1 John 4:7,8

The way things happen these days, we don’t know whose name God will call next. We don’t know when any of us will be called home. It’s best for us to show our love and appreciation to each other while we can, while we are still alive. Too many times we neglect to do so and live to regret it. So many times funeral wishes are where all the love and appreciation are expressed. Many people don’t know how much meant to us until they’re dead—we don’t always tell the people we love how much they mean to us until it’s too late.

Sometimes at funerals all the flowers, messages, and tributes written would make any heart melt, but the person who would have appreciated them most cannot read them. It’s always better to express how we feel when people are still alive; then the tributes we write when they die would be just a reinforcement of what they already knew.

Husbands, wives, when was the last time you showed your spouse that you love and appreciate him or her? Sometimes in marriage husbands and wives get so busy with routine, the job, the church, the second job, and the social activities that they neglect to take time out to show love and appreciation to each other. In Proverbs 31:12 we see that the virtuous wife does her husband good and not evil all the days of her life. And the apostle Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25, 28). We sometimes take our spouses for granted and just figure that they will always be around and always be there for us, but we never really know. Time is in the hands of God; we cannot afford to take each other for granted.

Children, are you honoring your parents? Are you showing your parents the love and appreciation that God wants you to show them? Not just what you feel like showing them? You may say, “Well you don’t know my husband, wife, children, mother, father, brother, sister, friend.” But God knows them. And no matter what the situation is between you and them, remember that the Word of God says: “Love covers a multitude of sins.”

We are to bless, love, and pray regardless, and let God take care of the rest. Heap coals of fire on their heads. God does a lot of things for us that we don’t deserve. Even when we neglect to thank Him, He still shows us His love, He still blesses us. Even when He blesses us and instead of being thankful we murmur and complain, He still shows us His love and blesses us. No matter what we do, His love for us never changes. If we are not where we ought to be, or if we sin, He does not decide to withhold the air from us, He still gives us His love and it’s new every morning.

If for some reason you were not able to see your spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors again after this moment, would you feel a peace in knowing that you showed and told them that you loved them and that you cared about them? If not, ask God to reveal to you the things that you should do to show love and appreciation to the ones you love. Sometimes the ones you love may not love you, but we are not to repay evil with evil but repay evil with good, We are Christians (Christ-ones) and we must walk and talk as our Jesus walked and talked. Jesus was always moved with compassion; Jesus always showed unconditional love and appreciation.

If you need to make an apology, do it before the eulogy. Whatever you need to do to show your love and appreciation today, do it. Time is precious, too precious for us to take the ones we love for granted.

My dad before his passing, told us that he did not want any flowers at his funeral. In lieu of flowers he desired a memorial scholarship fund to be set up for the students at the school was named in his honor, the Ivan Dawson Primary School. We honored his request at his passing and the 10th Ivan Dawson Memorial Scholarship was given this year. He always taught us the importance of showing love, gratitude, and appreciation, and he demonstrated this in his acts of humility as he lived for the Lord.

If this devotional ministers to you, do as the Holy Spirit leads you. You may be surprised what a simple act of kindness or appreciation will do for the ones you love. Share the love of Jesus Christ today, show the love of Jesus Christ today. God is truly love.