7.26.2011

Devotional_Thoughts

God Loves You
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God" 
1 John 4:7

The message of God's love for His creation is the most profound message ever heard, and ever told.  Do you see what the Apostle John says here?  If we love, we are born of God (born again), and we know God.  How does God prove His love for us?  The letter written to the church in Rome says "God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  Gods love is a self-sacrificing love, we show Him our love by obeying His commandments and we show others His love by being self-sacrificing in our lives.  Whose needs come first in our lives?  Our own, or others?  God tells us that when we put the needs of others before our own, we are showing His love.  Easy?  No.  Possible?  Yes!  John also tells us that whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world-- our faith.  What does love look like through the eyes of the world?  After 54 years of life I can tell you that the world does not know self-sacrificial love, nor will it ever!
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, knew this perfect love that the Apostle John speaks of.  He gave his life, all of it, for the calling.  This is a story of another who gave it all.  Early in his life, Jerry McAuley was a thief and a counterfeiter. As a result, he spent seven years in prison.  Although he was converted there, it was a long time before he experienced the complete victory that is available in Christ.  When he did, however, he began witnessing to other men who had sunk deep in sin. Later he opened America's first rescue mission in New York City, where he befriended the worst criminals and downtrodden people of society.  Just before his death in 1884, he said to his wife, "I know that tuberculosis will soon take my life, but I want to die on my knees, still praying for the lost.  I'd rather have some poor soul that I led to the Lord put one small rose on my grave than to have the wealth of a millionaire."  His wish was granted, for at his funeral, an aged, shabbily dressed man appeared.  Handing one of the ushers a few flowers, he asked, in a voice trembling with emotion, that the flowers be placed on the coffin.  Then the old man said apologetically, "I hope Jerry, who was my friend, will know that they came from old Joe Chappy."  Mrs McAuley preserved that little bouquet for a long time in remembrance of the fact that her husband had been a true friend of sinners. 
How about you?  What will be said by those who come to see you the last time?  What is the substance of your life?  You think about that.
Prayer for the day:  God show us Your perfect love today, and show us how to share it with everyone we come in contact with, in Jesus Name, Amen 

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