The following post is cited from Portals of Prayer October to December 2010 by Concordia Publishing House. It is a wonderful devotion on love.
Tuesday, October 19
Read John 3:16-21 and Psalm 145
God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son. John 3:16
It is easy to give gifts to people we love, and we usually love people who are lovable. But what about the obnoxious neighbor, the less-than-lovable co-worker, the spiteful relative - are we really supposed to love them just the same? It is not so easy to give to or to love the mean, the spiteful, the unlovable. But God did and does.
God gave His Son - out of love, not gratitude, not in return for anything the world had done, but only out of His gracious love. The world (that includes you and me) had done nothing to earn that love. What could we ever offer God? He is Creator of all things; there is nothing He needs from us. In fact, all that we have came from Him. Without His aid, we cannot keep His perfect Law of love. On our own, we turn away from Him, reject Him, and scorn His love. Still, He loved and loves us. Still, He gifts us with grace and mercy.
This verse from John, the Gospel "in a nutshell," tells us the story of God's love, which sent salvation in the form of Jesus. The Creator of light has become our light in a world of darkness. The light penetrates our darkness and, by our God-given faith and love, we are able to love even the less-than-lovable.
All-loving God, we praise and thank You for sending Christ to be our light and hope. Help us, Lord, to live in Your love each day.