Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sparrows

"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."  Matthew 10:31 (KJV)


I was walking through the room as Zachary and his cousin, Austin, were deep into a conversation.  I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I overheard them talking about birds.  It had started snowing the evening before, continued snowing all through the night, and left a beautiful, soft, white blanket on the ground outside.  Earlier we had gone out and built a snowman, then we'd come back in to warm up.  Now the two boys were raring to get back outside...this time to look for birds.  I heard them mention sparrows.

Always eager for an opportunity to insert some valuable spiritual lesson, I stopped what I was doing and said, "Do you know God sees every time a sparrow falls to the ground?  He cares THAT much about sparrows.  And Jesus said YOU are worth more than many sparrows.  So, if God cares THAT much about a little, tiny sparrow and you are worth more than many of them, just imagine how much He loves YOU!" 

I love those moments when I can really connect with them, and this was one of them.  I had the full attention of both boys.  They sat there listening as I continued to elaborate on God's love for them and how valuable they are to God, and when I finished, I said, "Don't ever forget how much He loves you."  They both agreed that they would never forget.  I felt satisfied that I had gotten my point across, so I left them to their outdoor plans.  May God help me to never miss one of those rare moments of opportunity to get across some profound truth to their formative hearts and minds!  They are so precious!

God loves you.  Perhaps you've heard that before.  We live in an age of time that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is widely proclaimed....radio, television, internet...modern technology has provided many mediums through which we can hear the old, old story of Jesus and His love.  We hear it often...God loves you.  Jesus died for you.  He rose from the dead on the third day.  He went away to prepare a beautiful place for you.  One day soon, He is coming again to take His children home to live with Him for eternity. 

As I walked away from those precious boys, I wondered how many times in my 45 years I have heard every one of those statements.  I wondered if we've all heard them so much that they have become commonplace and the depth of their meaning has been lost to us?  Could we have become what we refer to as "Gospel-hardened?"  Where the effect of the Word has lost its impact?  Do we really believe it? 

Then I thought of my own feelings of unworthiness.  I realized right there and then that my opinion of myself and God's opinion of me are worlds apart.  I measure my love-worthiness by my failures, the times I have fallen short, and the many times I have let Him down.  He measures my worth by a completely different standard.  Romans 8:35-39 names off no less than 17 things that could threaten to cause God to stop loving us.  It pretty much encompasses every possible element in this life, and then it assures us that NONE of them "shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (verse 39) 

In other words, it doesn't matter who you are, where you are, how you are living, what you have done, how far below God's standards of holiness you have fallen....one fact remains the same, my friend.  God loves YOU.  YOU are worth more to Him than many sparrows.  Your current condition does not alter the amount of love He bestowed upon you when He sent His Son to die for you.  Jesus knew where you would be on October 30, 2011 when He hung on the cruel cross.  It didn't deter him.  No, my friend, it compelled Him...it made Him want to die for you all the more, because He knew YOU were going to need a Savior.  Nothing you have done or will ever do will alter the fact that He loves you.  I hope you never forget.

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