An old wild cat had showed up on the back doorstep of an elderly widow living alone in her house in the mountains. Though she was never much for having a pet, she fed the cat. Whenever she sat down on the back porch, the old cat came up and rubbed against her leg and she reached down and petted it. When somebody asked her about it she simply said: “Every living thing in this world needs to be loved.”
We need all kinds of love connections in our lives. Babies need love. Children need love. Teenagers need love. Adults need love. The elderly need love. Even animals need someone to love them.
Everybody wants to be loved.
The first word of 1 John 3:1 says, “hey, look at this, pay attention!” The Lord wants us to stop what we are doing and look at something He wants to show us. He wants us to pay attention. He wants us to see what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called the children of God.
1 John 3:16 says: “when you look at God’s love you for you, you look at Jesus.
In other words, if you could only draw one picture for the world to depict the concept of love, it wouldn’t be a wedding ring, a sensual embrace, a romantic candle, or a sacrificial act of kindness.
God’s picture of love is Jesus in a manger, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus calming the storm on the sea and in your life, Jesus on the Cross and Jesus resurrected. When we look at God’s love for us – He gave it all in Jesus. That is why we are so thankful for His love this Christmas.
We can rely on His love at the crucial junctions of life. We can rely on His love when our strength fails, when our friends die, when our hearts break, when our minds reel, when our hopes are dashed, when our health is gone. We can rely on His love, and His love is embodied in Jesus Christ – 1 John 4:7–19
Whatever you are facing right now, rely on Jesus! We don’t need to be afraid of anything in this life, because we can rest in the fact that come-what-may, God loves us and His perfect love casts out fear.
Perhaps today you feel lonely and you are fighting off the Christmas blues. Well, God loves you, and you can rely on His love. His love casts out fear. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are. Because the heavenly Father put the feet of Jesus Christ into your Christmas stocking 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, you have a stocking full of love.
“He left His Father’s throne above so free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love, and bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free, for O my God, it found out me!”