Pastor Wilson had taken a portion from 1 John 4 as his text this Sunday morning. This is a great chapter on christian love and it put me in the notion of writing a few short words this month on the subject of "loving the unlovely".
There is a story I read about in "Our Daily Bread" about a girl named Mary who had been born with a cleft palate. When she started school, her classmates teased and taunted her unmercifully because of her scarred and mis-shapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth and garbled speech. Mary soon became convinced that no one could ever love her.
There was a teacher in the second grade, however, whom all the children liked. Mrs Leonard was a cheerful woman, full of good humour and affection. Each year she checked the children's hearing with a simple test. The children would stand across the room from her as she whispered a question such as "What colour are your shoes?" or "Do you have a new dress?" and the child would answer. When the time came for Mary's turn, she listened closely for the teacher to whisper. Then she heard these words - "I wish you were my little girl".
Those words changed Mary's life forever. She realised she was loved, despite her flawed features, by someone who mattered.
Though you may feel unworthy and unwanted, God wants you to know that He is merciful, forgiving and full of love for you (Psalm 103:1-8). Do you know that God loves you like that?
Romans 5:8 tells us that:
"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"
and in Philippians 2:8 that:
"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross"
When it came to "loving the unlovely" no one could ever come close to the Lord Jesus Christ, praise His lovely name!
"We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19)
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!