Summary: God is big enough to love me, despite my faults, flaws, and failings.
The following ad appeared in a newspaper: Lost, one dog. Brown hair with several mange spots. Right leg broken due to auto accident. Rear left hip hurt, right eye missing, left ear bitten off in dog fight, answers to the name of “Lucky.”
Why “Lucky?” Because that dog had an owner who loved it so much that he was willing to pay whatever price was required to retrieve him, mange spots and all!
You and I, as God’s children, are “lucky.” Because the Bible teaches us that God loves us unconditionally! Here in our passage, we are given three reasons why we know God’s love for His children is unconditional.
1. God knows us thoroughly - vs. 12-13
God knows all things about my life and yours. There is nothing about us He does not know. This fact underscores the reality that His love for me must be unconditional.
The story is told of an elderly grandfather who was very wealthy. Because he was going deaf, he decided to buy a hearing aid. Two weeks later he stopped at the store where he had bought it and told the manager he could now pick up conversations quite easily, even in the next room. “Your relatives must be happy to know that you can hear so much better,” beamed the delighted proprietor. “Oh, I haven’t told them yet,” the man chuckled, “I’ve just been sitting around listening - and you know what? I’ve changed my will twice!”
As this story illustrates, it is often harder to love others the more we know about them. But not so with God! He loves us despite the fact that He knows us better then we even know ourselves!
I have been thinking a lot lately about brokenness. I remember years ago, that is was popular to say that God’s people need to be broken before God, as if that is something we need to do. But I have come to realize, the more I study the Scripture and grow in my walk with God that I do not have to become broken, I am already broken!
I am hopelessly flawed! And the more I grow in my walk with God through His Word, the more I realize just how broken I am!
But along with my awareness of brokenness, has come a corresponding awareness of the depth of God’s love for me. All the faults and flaws I find in myself, as I look at my life through the lens of Scripture, are things God has always known, yet he loves me anyway! The more aware I am of my brokenness, the more amazed I am by God’s love!
2. God identifies with us totally - vs. 14-15
A young man who was a missionary among the Chinese, dressed as they dressed. He took a picture of himself in his Chinese clothes and sent it to his sister. Her immediate reaction was: “I feel those strange clothes have created a barrier between me and my brother.” The sister failed to realize, however, that the clothes that were strange to her made the Chinese identify him as one of their own.
That’s what the Lord Jesus did. Jesus came to this earth - God come as man - to identify with you and me. The writer tells us that He identifies with us totally. He experienced what we experience in this life - joy & sorrow; gain & loss; acceptance & rejection - everything.
He even faced temptation as you and I do, but He never gave into temptation. No, He did not partake of the pleasures of sin; so He might be able to pay the penalty for sin, which is the ultimate way in which Christ identified with us!
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.” - 1 Peter 2:24 (NLT)
Jesus, being the infinite Son of God, was able to suffer in a finite period of time on the cross; what you or I, being finite human
beings, would have to suffer for an infinite period of time in hell.
Christ’s identification with us in His life and especially in His death, is proof of His love for us. We can know of His love for us because He identifies with us totally.
“He is the one who loved me and gave himself to save me.” - Galatians 2:20 (Easy to Read version)
Jason Tuskes was a 17-vear-old high school honor student. He was close to his mother, his wheel-chair-bound father, and his younger brother, Christian. Jason was an expert swimmer who loved to scuba dive. He left home on a Tuesday morning to explore a spring and underwater cave near his home in west-central Florida. His plan was to be home in time to celebrate his mother’s birthday by going out to dinner with his family that evening. But Jason got lost in the cave he was exploring. Then, in a panic, he apparently got wedged in a narrow passageway. When he realized he was trapped, he shed his yellow metal air tank and unsheathed his diver’s knife. With the tank as a tablet and the knife as a pen, he wrote one last message to his family: “I love you, Mom and Dad, and Christian.” Then he ran out of air and drowned. A dying message is something we cannot be indifferent toward.