Love Never Ends…
Day 20 – January 27, 2018
Today I am writing the final 2018 devotional of 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting. I want to share one last thought with you. When our son, Ryan was in high school, I helped him with a book report on Ghost Soldiers, the story of the rescue of 513 survivors of the Bataan Death March during World War II. This is one of the most riveting war stories I have ever read, and going over it with my son reminded me of the horrendous ordeal that these U.S. soldiers faced under the cruel hand of their Japanese captors.
However, I will never REALLY understand all that these men endured. Abie Abraham from Renfrew, Pennsylvania really understood. Bert Bank in Tuscaloosa, Alabama understood. Tommie Thomas in Tucson, Arizona understood. Dr. Ralph Hibbs in Medford, Oregon understood. Why? Because they lived it.
There is something in your life as a Christ-follower that you have experienced, and you can share this better than anyone. Why? Because you have lived it. Here are a few things you have experienced.
First, God has extended you grace. If God gave you what you deserve, you wouldn’t be here right now. But He has not repaid you for the way you have lived. He extended grace. And He wants you to do the same for others.
Second, God expresses faith in you. He believes in you so much that He created you, gave you free choice in how you live, and then He gave His Son to die for you…knowing full well that you might possibly reject Him. Yet He believes in you. And He wants you to do the same for others.
Third, God expects the best from you. He knows what you are capable of, and He knows that you are not living up to your potential. Yet, He doesn’t write you off. He keeps hoping for the best for you. And He wants you to do the same for others.
Finally, God endures the worst from you. He has seen every mistake, every failure…everything! And He still has not given up on you. And He wants you to do the same for others.
My hope for you…and for myself is that we will learn to love God and love others the way that God wants us to love. It will truly change our lives for the better, and it will bring richness to our lives that nothing else will give.
I would like to close this final devotional with a paraphrase of I Corinthians 13 that has been written by Rick Warren.
“Because God loves me he is slow to lose patience with me. Because God loves me he takes the circumstances of my life and he uses them in a constructive way for my growth. Because God loves me he does not treat me as an object to be possessed or manipulated. Because God loves me he has no need to impress me with how great and powerful he is because he’s God. Nor does he belittle me as his child in order to show me how important he is. Because God loves me he is for me and he wants to see me mature and develop in his love. Because God loves me he does not keep score of all my sins and then beat me over the head with them whenever he gets the chance.”