The day before the first Christmas Jesus and Michael were visiting. Michael...Are you going to earth tomorrow? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Are you sure you want to do that? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Isn't the earth still full of anger and hatred and cruelty? Jesus...Yes. Michael...Do you think they might misunderstand you? Jesus...Yes. Michael...They might even ridicule you and beat you. Jesus...Yes. Michael...They may even try to kill you. Jesus...Yes. Michael...Then why are you going? Jesus...Because I love (insert your name here)
Life Giver Guilt Remover Problem Solver Way Maker Stress Calmer Ransom Payer Sin Forgiver Grace Supplier Load Lifter Joy Enlarger Battle Fighter Path Smoother Song Writer Mercy Provider Blessing Dispenser God is my ALL in ALL!
I think that just before Jesus performed a miracle he often had a slight smile on his face…a hidden smile of anticipation. After all, He was about to do something good for someone He loved. He was about to give the joy of life or sight or health to an undeserving individual whose life would never again be the same.
He was a little like the small boy in the classroom whose teacher was about to unwrap the Christmas present he had given her. He believes it is the best present she would receive. He knows she will love it. As she starts to unwrap it he squirms in anticipation at his seat. He can hardly wait to do something nice for someone he loves.
Jesus was eager to provide healing for all those who came to Him. I think he really enjoyed it each time He restored health to them. We will never know how much energy each act of healing cost Jesus (Mark 5:30) but I will always believe He liked doing them.
To me the term “…poor in spirit…” (Matthew 5:3) means total humility, admitting that on my own I can do nothing (John 15:5.) God loves me regardless of my lack of talent, beauty, skills or possessions. In God’s system I have great value. I am a child in his family adopted through the death of Jesus on the cross.
In the world’s system a thing like this is unheard of. We are taught that we must do something or be something or have something before we are granted the status of “valuable or important.” But God says “You are valuable to me exactly as you are right now.”
Should we ever wonder how valuable we are to Him all we need do is look to the cross. Jesus died there to buy my eternal freedom from the consequences of my sins. God’s grace means love without accomplishment. It seems to be a crazy system, but it is the way God does things and I sure am glad.
God’s love for us is, and always has been, more than emotion. His love is so great that He had to put it into action to give us a demonstration so bold and decisive we could never doubt it or ignore it. That demonstration was, of course, the gift and death of His son.
What if God had said “I love you, and when you get your life cleaned up I’ll adopt you and allow you into my kingdom,” but had not sent Jesus?
“I love you and I’m sorry you are hurting. Hang in there. Be sure to call me if I can be of any help,” but had not sent Jesus?
“I love you and I understand your fears. Just remember that I’m in control of your future. I’ll always be close by if you need me,” but had not sent Jesus?
Such platitudes are well meaning, but we need much more. Without the gift of Jesus as proof of God’s love our religion would be empty and ineffective in helping us deal with the trials of life. As his children and representatives on earth, we must help others by going beyond words and demonstrating our love to those who are hurting. Just as our Father shows His love for us, we must show our love for others.
Sometimes I think God does not solve the problems of those I am praying for until I am ready to be used by Him as part of the solution. God frequently says “Don’t just sit there and pray. Pray, then get up and DO what I lead you to do.”
I John 4:21 says “He who loves God must love his brother also.” If I do not love others, especially other Christians, my love for God is stunted and limited. How do I know I love them? I want to help them.