April 10 (1 John 4:16)
So we have come to
know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love
abides in God, and God abides in him.
“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” is a blues standard dating back to 1923 and covered by everyone from Bessie Smith to Eric Clapton. There is a reason it is a musical standard. It speaks the truth. Our world is based on performance, evaluations, and productivity. If you have something to contribute, great, but if not, get lost. We see it in sports, business, education, government, and even in relationships.
Now set that aside and listen to a man who walked and talked with Jesus. John knows something different. He knows about love, not greeting card love and certainly not the perverse carnival of self-centeredness that passes for love in popular culture. Real, true, sober, no-frills, honest-to-goodness love is what God offers through Jesus. That love dwells within us thanks to the Holy Spirit. It is a love that grounds you, protects you, comforts you, directs you, strengthens you, supports you, encourages you, nourishes you, nurtures you, calls you, inspires you, challenges you, rebukes you, corrects you, and draws you ever closer to its source, the God of the universe Who sacrificed His life so you could live.
Do you seriously think that kind of love is contingent upon how productive you are or even upon how good you are? The kind of love John is talking about is so far beyond our comprehension and our sins that it triumphed over death. Come on, now. Do you really believe that God does not love you?
Father, it is easy to believe that You do not love me when I listen to the voices of the world, the voice of my enemy, and even my own voice. Yet when I listen to You and the words You have spoken through Scripture, the message is clear. You really do love me. Thank You! Help me to walk and talk, to breathe and think in nothing but the love You have shown me in Christ Jesus, in Whose name I pray, amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins