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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of March 5, 2012

Love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.

1 John 4:12 says, No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. In other words, even though no person has ever actually seen God the Father, we are able to see God's character as we love one another.

Remember that God is love (1 John 4:8); so, when we walk in love, we are like God.

Thus, although we can't actually see God, we can see his character in our love for each other (and in his love for us). Indeed, Romans 5:8 tells us that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Furthermore, Jesus said that we, his disciples, will be known by our fruit: By their fruit you will recognize them (Matthew 7:16, 20). Galatians 5:22 tells us what that fruit is: The fruit of the Spirit is love ... . Thus, we are known by our love—love for one another and love for God.

It is so important to walk in love, because love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot wrote that in his journal shortly before giving his life on the mission field. He knew that the cost of the cause of Christ is everything you have.

However, the things you give up to Christ (e.g. control of your own life) are things you couldn't keep anyway, but the things you gain as a result of faith in Christ (e.g. eternal life) are things you cannot lose.

Jesus said, in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Everything you have here on Earth will decay and rust away -- you'll lose it all. However, what you store up in heaven you cannot lose.

The author of Ecclesiastes, who was probably King Solomon, recalled, in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11, how he had done great things and accumulated much wealth. Yet, he realized that accumulation here on Earth is useless: I undertook great projects ... I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. ... I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. ... Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun (Ecclesiastes 2:4,9-11). Even though he had everything he wanted, it was all pointless, because it didn't satisfy and couldn't last.

Take some advice from these passages. Trade the things you can't keep (your life, your money, your possessions) for the things you can't lose (eternal life, righteousness, a relationship with God).