Oh, How He Loves!

After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”     Mark 9:33-37 (NLT)

I love this story. It is also recorded in Matthew 18 and Luke 9. I often think that if three of the four gospel witnesses remembered and thought something was important to record, I need to pay attention to it.

God knows me. Jesus knew the disciples were arguing among themselves. Did He know the subject? Wouldn’t surprise me! But there is something that happens when we “come clean” and tell the LORD what is happening in our lives. The disciples didn’t want to admit what they were talking about because, on some level, they knew they had done wrong. I’m like that with God, too. When I am walking on my own path and doing things my own way, what some might call my conscience is actually God’s Spirit telling me that I am distancing myself from Him. Yes, God knows me, for better or worse.

God tells me. Jesus does not leave His disciples in their sin. He doesn’t leave me in mine either. Jesus is called Teacher in the gospel. Jesus doesn’t condemn the disciples for their wrong thinking and arguing. He corrects them and teaches them. Jesus wants me to be better. He wants me to grow and learn and then pass what I have learned to others.

God wants me. Jesus takes a child and teaches the disciples then, and continues to teach us now, the depth of His love. God’s love is not about the proud and the famous. God’s love is tender and uplifting to the small and weak among us, like when I am small and weak. He tells me that when I make time, encourage, show kindness, and in any other way, show love to those who may be overlooked, I am welcoming Him; I am welcoming the Father.

It is a wondrous and comforting thing to know that Father God, Creator of all that is, cares about me and wants more for me. It’s a hard and humbling thing to know that God’s love is so great that He loves me in spite of my sin and wrongs. He loves me enough to correct and teach me. He is there to see every tear, every loss, every success, and every celebration. He is always there. He is always everything.

Praise the Lord!

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel[a] as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.        Psalm 146:1-5 (NLT)

Jesus, Lover of my Soul written and sung by Lindell Cooley




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