As I normally do, I started my day off around 4:30 a.m. this morning with a wonderful reminder of God’s love for us. Romans has the simple reminder, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (ESV). That’s good news anytime, but it’s especially good news at 4:30 a.m.
God loves me, and He loves you. His love is unconditional, uncontested, and unadulterated by our messy lives. He loves you and your pile of two-week old unfolded laundry on the couch and it’s counterpoint of dirty clothes on the floor in the laundry room. You know those clothes to which I’m referring – the clothes laying on the floor beside your fancy laundry basket? God loves you and your messy kitchen. God loves you and your poor spending habits. God loves you even though you tightly hold on to some hatred of your neighbor over things which should have long been forgiven. God loves you when you decide T.V. is of greater worth than a few moment of prayer and interaction with God. God loves you when life and people overwhelm you and your words and actions fail to represent the kindness, compassion, and mercy to which you have been shown. God loves you when you doubt Him and fail to trust.
In the middle of our mess, God has never failed to love us, just as Satan has never missed a chance to whisper destruction into our mind. Satan will tell you that your life is not reflective of Jesus – you’re just too far gone, you’ve walked in independence of God too far down a path of your own choosing, and God has no further interest in you. You’re not worthy of God’s love.
The blood of Jesus screams a different story. God has long loved us, and His love for us, shown most dramatically through the sacrifice of Christ, continues on. Don't let your messy life, and Satan little whispers, cause you to miss it, and don't let your messy life cause you to not show love to the world around you.
As you begin your day, start it with the knowledge that God loves you through every failure you’ll experience in the next 24 hours. Use that as a reminder to show love to others (whether you like them or not), because you are loved so perfectly by God – and God loves them just as much as He loves you. Remember that every person you experience today needs love, because their lives are as messy as yours. They don’t want you to know that, but they are. Be the person who surprises them with compassion instead of judgment, help instead of criticism, and the simple beauty of being kind and friendly. That’s becoming less common. We need more kind and friendly.
There will be enough evil, hatred, and animosity shown today on the news, social media, and other places to cover that quota. Let your day be filled with the personal knowledge of God’s love for you, and let that knowledge catalyze some love in your own life for a world that seems to be screaming for a fight.
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!