Lost And Found In His Love
By Sharon Frame
This week’s topic: God’s Love
I got lost in Nazareth three months ago. Yes, that Nazareth; the childhood home of Jesus. Why? I failed to follow simple instructions. It reminded me of when Adam and Eve disobeyed one clear command and got us lost in sin.
Darkness settled over the city. Our tour guide instructed us to head to the bus. She was busy rounding up the stragglers, so I decided to dash inside a candy store close to our meeting point. Somehow I lost track of time. When I stepped out into the streets of modern-day Nazareth, there was not one familiar face in the busy crowd. It seems my tour bus was gone and I was left behind! Fear began to close in. I panicked.
I imagine fear closed in just the same way in the Garden of Eden after the fall. It can smother and choke the life right out of you. But II Timothy 1:7 reminded me that God has “not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”
Even when we deliberately ignore God’s command, He still offers us love and power to protect us from the unexpected changes of life. Our misbehavior doesn’t shock God. What hurts Him is when we run from His help. While Adam and Eve were naked and running away in shame, God was making provision to die and to kill the curse of sin. It was the only way for this loving God to redeem man.
Consider this: A judge found “Richard” guilty of a capital crime in federal court. He sentenced him to death. Richard had to be executed to propitiate or satisfy the verdict. Everyone knew he was guilty. The evidence was overwhelming. Richard even confessed to the crime. Ironically, the judge on the bench was Richard’s own father.
By law, Richard Sr. had to sentence his son to die. The law demanded justice and offered no leniency for the crime. A ransom or debt had to be paid. So, there sat the loving father with a heavy and broken heart. He’s bound by laws he created. But the same law requires the death of his own child.
So what does he do? He steps down from the bench and his place of power. He takes off starch-stiff black robe. A hush grips the courtroom. The esteemed judge walks over to his son, gently moves him out of the way, and stands in his place. He announces that he will die so his guilty son can live. He waves off the frantic objections from the prosecution, and is led away by the executioner. He casts a loving glance at his son who is paralyzed by shock and disbelief. Soon the floodgates break. Richard Jr. crumbles to the ground overcome by gratitude and a stream of uncontrollable tears.
What Richard Sr. did for his son is what God did for us through Jesus Christ.
Simply put, man sinned when he disobeyed God’s law. The offense of sin demanded a penalty. The penalty was death. That meant blood had to be shed to pay the “wages” of sin. Problem is, only innocent blood could satisfy the requirement and acquit the guilty party.
Since “all had sinned and fallen short,” no human sacrifice could ransom or save the human race. Only God could do it. So, a loving and holy God took off his robe and came down in the “form” of sinful flesh. God the son moved us out of the way of death, and was executed to satisfy the demands of His own law. What manner of love is that?!
From the moment man sinned in the Garden, God set his loving plan in motion to rescue and redeem him. So, why would He leave or abandon you now?
Our Father is like a smitten lover who refuses to give up on a wayward woman who has completely captured his heart. He’s like a doting daddy who is oh so patient with his rebellious, head-strong children. He longs to lavish his love and protect them from harm. He’s like a true friend who sticks “closer than a brother.” No matter what scrapes you get yourself into, you know there is a shoulder to cry on. He’s that close companion who will never violate your confidence or think of you any less because of your failures.
Remember when he said: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)
Back in Nazareth, I walked around scared and bewildered for about 10 minutes. And just as it seemed all hope was gone, I spotted one of our tour guides peeling through the crowd towards me. They had been desperately scouring the city streets for their wayward tourist.
You sometimes will get lost in the maze of life. If we admit it, much of the pain, hurt and setbacks are of our own making. Our loving God is not looking for ways to hold it against us. Instead, He’s looking for ways to draw us back into his arms of safety and protection.
Now that’s love!
Scripture Of The Day: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” – Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)