John 3:16-17– For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
I recently read a parable reminding me of the limitless love of God and the extent He will go to redeem those He chooses:
An old man in India sat down under the shade of an ancient banyan tree whose roots disappeared far away in a swamp. Presently he discerned a commotion where the roots entered the water. Concentrating his attention, he saw that a scorpion had become helplessly entangled in the roots. Pulling himself to his feet, he made his way carefully along the tops of the roots to the place where the scorpion was trapped. He reached down to extricate it. But each time he touched the scorpion, it lashed his hand with its tail, stinging him painfully. Finally, his hand was so swollen he could no longer close his fingers, so he withdrew to the shade of the tree to wait for the swelling to go down. As he arrived at the trunk, he saw a young man standing above him on the road laughing at him.
“You’re a fool” he said, “wasting your time trying to help a scorpion that can only do you harm.” The old man replied, “Simply because it is in the nature of the scorpion to sting, should I change my nature, which is to save?”
1 Peter 3:9 “Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.”
Thank God He never changes. His nature is to save and He will go to incredible lengths (even sacrificing His own dear Son) to ensure that those He calls are indeed part of His family. God’s love is not static or self-centered or according to how He is feeling in a given moment. It is a love that reaches out and draws others in despite their reaction towards Him.
Where do you find yourself in this story?
Like the old man in this parable, you may be reaching out and loving others so that they may come to know Jesus. And yet you are having a hard time of it. Sharing love is a challenge among those who are not interested or lash out in anger or offense. Obstacles can abound. Consider who are those in your life that are responding in anger and retaliate when you offer kindness and concern. How is God encouraging you to continue sharing His love with them despite the setbacks?
There will always be scoffers who try to deter us from the good work of sharing Christ. Their mockery can be persistent and discouraging. How can we respond lovingly but firmly to them? Or perhaps you are like the young man, deterring others in their good work for Christ, and wearing them down with negativity. Allow the Spirit of God to reveal this sinful behavior to you.
The scorpion, in his fear, lashed out at the saving actions offered to it by the old man. Are there people in your life reaching out in love to whom you need to surrender and graciously accept their help? God reaches those He loves through the reaching out of others. Let go of pride and humbly accept the goodness of God towards you.
God’s love has no limits. His nature is and always will be to save and redeem a “chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9).
“Heavenly Father, I am indebted to You for the generous kindness and sacrifice You have made so that I might have a secure place in Your Kingdom for all eternity. In response help me to persist in showing this same loving nature to others so that they may come to know You intimately too. Amen.”