Our Lenten Devotion for Tuesday, March 15, comes to us from Steadfast Love which features reflections and prayers by Ed Arle and Gil Duchow with inspiration from the works of Henri J.M. Nouwen.
10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10 NIV
“But your Father’s love was so unlimited that he wanted us to know that love and to find in it the fulfillment of our deepest desires. So, he sent us you, with a human heart big enough to hold all human loneliness and all human anguish. Your heart is not a heart of stone but a heart of flesh, your heart of flesh is not narrowed by human sin and unfaithfulness, but is as wide and deep as divine love itself.”
(from Heart Speaks to Heart by Henri J.M. Nouwen, page 21-22Henri)
A friend of mine was once asked, “How does God love me?” My friend thought for a minute and said, “I guess through me God loves you.” I have never forgotten that. But then, where does that love come from, the love that spills over from one heart to the hearts of others? John says it starts with Jesus. And having started with Jesus on the cross, it never stops. By the grace of God, it takes over the heart and soul of a person until God’s love and forgiveness covers over “a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). It is then that a loved and redeemed child of God can say, “I guess through me God loves you.” And he does. Love starts with Jesus and takes off like a rocket until we want nothing more than to share it with others.
I have the profound honor of leading our youth group, “Guiding Force”. They are a group of profoundly wise, energetic, and interesting young adults. They ask the most interesting questions, like “Why did God send that awful flood?” We talked about that for a long time.
I really appreciate the answer to the question about how God loves us. It is only through each of us that God’s love gets shared. We embody that love to the world around us because Jesus showed us how to love each other.
Dear heavenly Father, when I look at the cross and remember what happened there, I find that my greatest longing is to know Jesus and make him known. Amen.