God Values Us!
John 3:16 is very familiar to most of us, if not all of us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (NASB) This verse strongly proclaims God’s unconditional love for all people, and in doing so, declares the worth that God places upon each person. God highly values every person He has created. Another verse which captures God’s heart for every person is Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (NASB) This verse reminds me of the story of a little boy who went to the pet store. While he was there, he asked the owner if he had any puppies for sale. The owner brought out several puppies. While these puppies were running through the aisle, one little puppy lagged far behind. He was making his way, but keeping up with the other puppies was impossible. The puppy that lagged far behind caught the attention of the little boy. He asked the store owner how much that particular puppy cost. The owner of the store shared with the boy that because the puppy had a physical handicap and could not run and play like the rest of the puppies he could just have him, free of charge. The boy was a bit indignant. He said the little puppy was just as important and valuable as the rest. Again, the owner shared with the little boy that he could have him for free. At this point, the little boy lifted up his pant leg to reveal a brace on his leg. Then, the boy said that he understood where the handicapped puppy was coming from and was going to pay full price for the puppy. The owner of the store completely understood now how the little boy was thinking and accepted full payment for the handicapped puppy. As sinners before God, we are all handicapped by our sin. God’s love highly values us and takes care of our sin handicap through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the simple message of Christmas!
John 3:16 also carries with it a very special memory for me. It was the very first Bible verse I memorized. I learned it by heart for a part in the Children’s Program in the little country church where I grew up. I memorized the verse because my Dad & Mom would have it no other way. I would not be reading the verse, but saying it from memory! In addition to quoting this verse, there are many other ways to communicate God’s unconditional love to people ~ learning their name; a smile; a handshake; a touch on the shoulder; a hug; a visit; a note; a meal shared together; an invitation to church. When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate God’s unconditional love! We celebrate His immeasurable grace! We celebrate His Son, Jesus Christ! May our celebration communicate God’s unfailing love for people!