After being a parent, I have learned how hard it is to raise a family. My mom and dad were not perfect by any means; however, I do believe they did the best that they could. We always had a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes to wear, and we knew we were always knew we were loved. My dad has passed away and now that my mom is getting up there in years, it is so sad to me to think about how the years have quickly passed us by. And, now the tables have turned – It is us “kids” who are now taking care of her. My sisters and I realize and recognize that we have been blessed and now come together to try and meet her needs – to make sure she has a roof over her head, food on the table, clothes to wear, and that she is loved!
In Joshua 24, the prophet has been leading the people through the Promised Land. It is now just before Joshua’s death and he is speaking to the congregation of Israel. Joshua tells them about all that God has done for them, the promises that God made to Abraham and have been fulfilled, all the ways that God has protected them, and how God led them through the Red Sea.
They now live in cities they did not build, eat the fruit of vineyards and olive yards they did not plant, and land they had not labored (Joshua 24:13). And, now God says, “Revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness, put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).
All that we have and all that we are is because of a God who loves us so much. How do we know it is love? We know it’s true love, because we receive grace and forgiveness when we do not even deserve it. We know it’s love the same way we know our parents loved us and the same way we love our children – we would do whatever it takes to make sure our children’s needs are met and we love them unconditionally. God has done the same thing for you! God sent Jesus Christ, his only Son, so that you are loved unconditionally. There is nothing that you can do to separate the Love of God from you!
And, here is the thing…not a single one of us deserve the love that God has given us. We have done ‘nothing’ to earn that kind of love – just as we have done nothing to deserve the love of our parents. But, because we have received that love, our response should be to serve those who have loved us so much – especially our Lord and Savior.
Let us pray…Gracious God, all that we are and all that we have is because of your love for us. Help me to recognize that because of your Son, Jesus Christ, I have a safe and secure future. I do not deserve to be loved in this way. Help to respond to your love through acts of service to others and doing your will. In your name we pray, Amen.