God’s love for us is amazing. His mercy and grace are astonishing.
When so many others dismiss you and say, “I don’t need you any more,” God says, “I want you near me. And I will always want you near me. My love for you is faithful.”
When others disparage you and say, “You are too weak. You have nothing to offer us,” God says, “I will strengthen you. You are indispensable to me. My purpose for you is glorious.”
When others disdain you and say, “You are worthless. it would be better for you not to be seen or heard from,” God says, ‘You are my honored child, whom I love. Speak to me in prayer. I do see you every day. My ears, for you, are always open.”
When others despise you and say, “You don’t belong here,” God says, “You absolutely belong here, because you are my treasured possession. My bond with you is unbreakable.”
When others disregard you and say, “I have no time for your suffering,” Jesus says, “I have suffered in your place. Come to me, you who are weary and burdened. My grace and mercy toward you will always be abundant beyond measure.”
Paul speaks to the Corinthian Christians, and his encouragement is clear.
The way we treat each other in the church is not the way we’ve been treated by other selfish sinners. The way we treat each other in the church is a reflection of the way God first treated us.
The way we honor each other in the church is the way God first honored us…
…with his unconditional, unearned, and unimaginable love.
“The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:21-26, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, August 18, is Song of Songs 1:1 – 4:16, 1 Corinthians 12:1-26 and Psalm 99:1-9.
Lord, help me to honor others with love and kindness, as you have first honored me with love and kindness. Jesus, your cross reconciled me and brought me close to our Father. Now may your cross be the inspiration for me to remain close with my brothers and sisters in the church.
Header image based on "India - Chennai - Inspirational wall slogan" by McKay Savage, CC By 2.0