Scripture Reading: Joshua 21:20-22:34 / John 3:1-21 / Psalm 55:1-11
Years ago a widower from England, William Dixon, lost his only son. One day his neighbor’s house caught on fire. The aged neighbor woman was rescued but her orphaned grandson was trapped. Dixon climbed up the outside of the building on an iron pipe, reached the window and lowered the boy to safety. His hands that held onto the pipe were badly burned.
Shortly after the fire, the grandmother died and the townspeople wondered who would take care of the boy. Two volunteers stood before the town council and asked to adopt the boy. One was a father who lost his son and wanted to care for the boy. William Dixon was next to speak but instead of saying anything, he simply held up his scared hands. When the vote was taken…the boy was given to him.
There are some remarkable stories of man's love yet the greatest act and expression of love came from heaven above. God’s love reached to the ends of the world, “For God, so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God’s love reaches across all lines of age, race, culture and time. The degree of God’s love invites all men and the breadth, length, depth and height of His love cannot be measured!
But even though God’s love will reach to the ends of the earth, His love does not pass us by. God’s love reaches into each of our lives in a personal and eternal way. You alone were reason enough for The Father to send Jesus to die upon the cross. The love of God is not an empty phrase…it is real, proven and unconditional. God will love us no matter what the depth of our sin!
His love goes to the extreme of forgiving the worst of sinners. Christ died for us while we were living in our sin. The depth of His love was more powerful than the depth of our sin! Even on the cross, Jesus prayed for God forgive those who were crucifying Him. Forgiveness is the extension of His love, not our goodness. But God goes beyond forgiving, He forgets! God removes them far from us and from Him too – as the east is from the west – into the sea of forgetfulness. He does not lay forgiven sins to our charge but proclaims us righteous and free from condemnation.
French artist Marcel de Leclure wrote the longest and simplest love letter in 1875. The letter contained only one phrase “Jevous Aime” “I Love You”. He did not write the letter himself but hired a scribe. Marcel dictated every line, the scribe repeated it and then wrote it 1,875,000 times! This small phrase took an exhaustive amount of time and came at a great monetary expense. Yet the greatest message of love was not written in ink by the hand of a scribe but in blood by the extended hands of the sacrificial Lamb of God. His love doesn’t pass you by and will not only forgive your sin but also forget all your sin!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!