Luke 15:4-6 KJV “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
As of late, I have been studying the teachings of Jesus. Not only to gain a better understanding of this walk with Christ, to understand His love for me personally. My youngest loves to listen to Cory Asbury’s Reckless Love, on the drive to school each morning. We have just enough time to hear the full song, if we have to wait in line. And it hit me! Yesterday, while singing along, I was moved to tears.
“Chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine”
You see, I am so grateful that He loves me like that! I was born and raised “in the church.” We went to church Sunday morning and Sunday night, Wednesday night Bible Study, Friday night Youth Service, and anything in between. When I was in sixth grade, I began my own real relationship with God. I fell in love with Him! At sixteen, I fell in love with a boy… And, God was still there… But, life happened in between… I never walked away from Him, but He was never quite #1. Does that make sense?
When I deployed to Afghanistan, my entire world was turned upside down for a great multitude of reasons. “There’s no God here. This is a God-less country.” I wrote in my journal and told myself in my mind. My life had seemed to fall apart. Even returning to the States, nothing was as I had left it. So, I ran.
“I will never step foot in a church again. God has forgotten me. I’m done.” A dangerous thought. A scary thing to say.
But, it wasn’t true at all. His love! I can truly say, looking back, that I was that one whom He left the ninety-nine in search of. And it was a fight ’til I was found! Oh, but He found me! We can never go so far, that He cannot find us. To know that He fights for us?! Humbling, isn’t it? I mean, people – friends, spouses, (heaven-forbid) parents may give up on you, but God!
Psalm 139:7-12 KJV “7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
“When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me”
It took me three years to return to the house of God. And even returning was not an easy road initially. But, His love! I’m so grateful that love covers a multitude… His love tugs at our hearts wherever we are, no matter what we are doing, because it is not His will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
“When I felt no worth You paid it all for me”
One of my greatest struggles is feeling like I’m just not good enough. I heard it said that “When we feel worthless, we hurt God.” When I consider Calvary and the precious blood He shed. I know this to be true. Romans 5:8 KJV “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This tells me, “I am worthy – we are worthy.” He told us, “You are worthy.”
John 13:34 KJV “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
To love our neighbor as ourselves is the greatest commandment. Christ gave so much – in His life as a man, He possessed nothing, for He gave it all, right on down to His life. I am increasingly grateful for the examples laid before us in His Word, and in the gospels. They teach us what it is to love. They teach us how to love. They show us that we are loved.
There are so many in this world searching for love, feeling unloved, needing love. If only they knew just how loved we all are. It is by the love we have one to another that men will know we are his disciples… My goal for today and everyday is to love others as He loves me. Because, He Loves Me.