Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love Assignment

In the beginning, God created the world with an infinite amount of diversity. Consider the many different animals, insects, plants and minerals on this planet. Even after so many centuries, we're still making discoveries about God's creation. Then add to that the billions of people who have lived over the course of time - each unique and different from one another.

God pulled out all the stops! He used the big box of Crayolas to create the world with endless diversity. No repetition. No duplicates. God made everyone and everything unique.

All too often, though, we fail to celebrate the blessing of diversity. Differences challenge us. So, we cluster ourselves in social (and religious) circles of sameness.

All of us feel much more at ease when we cloister around people just like us. But how much clearer would people see God's love if we boldly broke out of our clusters and crossed our uncomfortable boundary lines in order to love people not like us?

All of us have been more than firsthand witnesses of God's love; we've been recipients of His mercy - receiving undeserved.loving-kindness and saving grace. "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). He loves us despite ourselves.

Could we not do likewise?

God may have placed a person in your life who isn't anything like you. In fact, you may not even like that person. But God's desire for you transcend your craving for ease or personal pleasure. He may want this man or woman to experience an undeniable truth - we are all people to love, even when we act unlovely and behave in unlovable ways. You may be the person's first-ever taste of unconditional love.

You may feel like saying, "I can't. I'm not capable. I need easier challenges."

I know how you feel.

A former boss once lied about me when I was in my late teens. He defamed my character and, I thought, I ruined my future. However, God led me to His Word, requiring me not t return evil, but to love this guy and pray for him. Despite the challenge, I obeyed God. And as a result, God unleashed a new sense of freedom and effectiveness He's used to impact lives over many years. But it was unbelievably tough love assignment.

Without hesitation, God issues love assignments that stretch us. He gave us His Son a big one, didn't He?

(From Dwight Robertson's "You are God's Plan A [and there's no plan b]")

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