“‘I will tend My flock and let them lie down.’ [This is] the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice'” Ezekiel 34:15-16.
“For the Lord will not reject [us] forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind” Lamentations 3:31-33.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16.
He couldn’t do anything for himself. Born with cerebral palsy, he sat in the wheel chair loving every second of the Christmas musical. He faces challenges that I can’t even imagine. His body wrecked by a disease that causes him to be in constant motion. He sat in the back of the auditorium, perhaps wanting not to distract. And sitting next to him was a proud mother, I couldn’t help stealing a glance throughout that evening, to see hear stroking his hair, wiping his mouth, and smiling all the while. She adored him. I thought to myself, That’s it. That’s love.
I had to meet this amazing mother. She was a single mom who had just moved to Tennessee from Kansas. “How do you do this all by yourself?” I had to ask. “He’s my life. He’s the greatest blessing that ever happened to me.”
This two-person family had an eternal impact on me. I received a glimpse of the love God has for me. Despite my constant battles with the curse of sin and personal rebellion, God loves me like that. Amazingly, you are God’s treasure and if you follow Him, He will be yours.
“Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” Romans 5:8. No doubt you’ve already heard the familiar words of “O Holy Night” this year. Don’t miss the truth of the final verse: Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.
If you want to know how to love one another, look at the love that sent Jesus to earth to live a life of love and pay the price for all of our sins. It’s all about love. This isn’t a love of fancy words and impossible tasks. This is a love that says, “I am willing to love you no matter what.”
We can love because He first loved us.
*** Matt Tullos is pastor of Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee