Sunday, Dec. 18 – Seth Stevens

18 Dec

Week 4: Love
Today’s Scripture:
Isaiah 42:1-12
John 3:16-21

One of the enemies of true love can be our habit of labeling others. In ordinary life, labels give us useful systems (filing) and useful categories (boss) but the usefulness becomes a killer when we single out qualities of a person and see them through those labels. We see folks as “rich” or “poor”, “mean” or “nice”, “smart” or “dumb”, “a jerk” or “a saint”. Yes, at times I am a jerk and I might have less money than you, but we must realize that those categories are not the way that God sees a person. Rather, it seems to me that God is much more open-minded about our worth.

In John 3, Jesus confounds the wisdom of a man who believed he was rich in religious knowledge and holiness (label: Pharisee), but in the very next section Jesus offers the Water of Life to a “nobody”
(label: dirty Samaritan). Jesus wasn’t concerned with labels but with the truth.

There aren’t too many labels that are universally accurate, but a label that is universal to all people is the label of “Son” or “Daughter”. Every one of us falls into one of those categories. Have you thought about the fact that you are His child recently? Have you let that fact sink in lately?

A facet of that relationship with God is the challenging fact that God gave His own Son to bring you, and me and all others back home to the Father’s house. We were orphans and vagrants. You and I were prodigal; having left our Father’s house to travel the wide road.

Despite that tragic fact, God didn’t label you as the bad son or the wayward daughter. He didn’t (and doesn’t) write you off. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Hallelujah. What a Savior!

If we are going to label others, let it always be with the label of “Child of God”! May the Lord grant us grace to see others through His eyes. May we be brave enough to ask the Lord to help us to see ourselves the way that He sees us; as His precious children. And may that vision lead us toward greater demonstrations of the love of our Father to those who have wandered far from home.

-SS

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