by Mary Alice McGinnis
Thirteen years ago, my son, who was living on his own, decided he wanted a puppy. He had heard about a breeder that had a litter of Italian Greyhounds for sale. So, he brought his first little angel home to his apartment. But after only two short weeks, his newly adopted Italian Greyhound puppy ran away and was never found. Totally devastated, my son reached back out to the breeder to tell him what happened.
Meet Winston. From the time he was born, Winston had severe “doggie” anxiety. Any little scary noise or sudden movement would send him into a yelping fit. This was not just little yips. His yelping was so distressingly loud that anyone hearing it would be convinced that Winston was in the grips of a brutal attack.
The breeder was fearful that someone would report him for dog abuse. He offered this little bundle of nerves to my son at no cost.
My son did not just have pity on this poor little guy. He did not send the breeder some money for dog food and other supplies for his needs. He did not offer to help the breeder find him a new home - with another family. My son loved Winston in the most profound way; He brought him to his home, adopted him and made him a part of his family!
Caring for this little guy was difficult, frustrating, and often expensive. But my son never gave up on him. They went through the ups and downs of life together, through thick and thin. Several years ago, after eating some houseplants, Winston’s kidneys nearly shut down, but my son found a way to get him the expensive medical care he needed, and he survived. Day after day, this little guy experienced lavish love poured out on him by my son.
Winston enjoyed the love and belonging of his family for all thirteen years of his short life. Last week, the evening before Winnie passed away, my son poured out his love for him in one last special way. He prepared him his last meal - a nice, juicy, thick steak cooked on the open fire. (Not many doggies have an experienced Sous Chef as their daddy).
How much MORE do we experience God’s LAVISH love! God’s provisions for us are endless. He rescued us at the extensive cost of the blood of His One and ONLY beloved Son. But He did not just rescue us and then send us happily on our way. He welcomed us into the nurturing care of His household. He has given us a place of belonging and invited us into His family!
Let that sink in. We belong to the family of God. We are His children!
The lavish love we have been given by God is not temporary. It can never be taken away nor revoked. God did not choose to love us because we were so lovable. He loves us because it is part of His unchanging character. His identity. It is WHO HE IS!
1 John 4:16 says: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
We are not only a part of God’s family right here and now – the best is yet to come! No circumstances, no difficulties, no suffering, not even death itself cannot take it away from us.
Today’s verse says this:
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.”
Let us take this scripture from 1 John 4:9-11 and raise our hearts to God in gratitude for His undeserved lavish love for us.
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Lord, use the altar of our lives to extend your love to those our lives touch today.