He didn’t love in order to get something from
us but to give everything of himself to us.
Ephesians 5:2 (MSG)
Gomer was … an irascible woman married to a remarkable Hosea. She had the fidelity code of a prairie jackrabbit, flirting and hopping from one lover to another. She ruined her life and shattered Hosea’s heart. Destitute, she was place for sale in a slave market. Guess who stepped forward to buy her? Hosea, who’d never removed his wedding band. The way he treated her, you would have thought she’d never loved another man. God uses this story, indeed orchestrated this drama, to illustrate his steadfast love for his fickle people…
His us agape love. Less an affection, more a decision; less a feeling, more an action…
Our finest love is a preschool watercolor to God’s Rembrandt, a vacant-lot dandelion next to his garden rose. His love stands sequoia strong; our best attempts bend like weeping willows.
Compare our love to God’s? Look at the round belly of the pregnant peasant girl in Bethlehem. God’s in there; the same God who can balance the universe on the tip of his finger floats in Mary’s womb. Why? Love.
Peek through the Nazareth workshop window. See the lanky lad sweeping the sawdust from the floor? He once blew stardust into the night sky. Why swap the heavens for a carpentry shop? One answer: love.
Love explains why he came. Love explains how he endured.
His hometown kicked him out. A so-called friend turned him in. Hucksters called God a hypocrite. Sinners called God guilty. Do termites mock an eagle, tapeworms decry the beauty of a swan? How did Jesus endure such derision?… “Observe how Christ loved us… He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us” (Ephesians 5:2 MSG). -3:16 The Numbers of Hope
Blessed Savior, the thought of your strong love brings joy and hope. How grateful we are for your agape love that is steadfast and true. When we are discouraged by the fickle and feeble love of others, remind us of your totally unselfish love. May your extraordinary love be an example to us in loving others. May your generous love shape our lives, amen.
By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us.
And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:16
Max Lucado, Live Loved, Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN.