Listen to this devotional:
Matthew 17:5 – While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" (NIV)
Recently, I was looking through magazine submission guidelines, when I came across an invitation for authors to submit their work for an elite client. Supposedly, the magazine offered its readers the "ultimate guide to the good life". The editors were looking for interviews with celebrity icons, who would "share their thoughts on what matters most and offer tips on living the good life."
I stopped reading right there, for I knew the icon celebrity I wanted to write about wasn't the type for which this magazine editor was looking — though really should be. I was looking for a magazine that would publish the story of how a loving God made a bargain with his only Son, Jesus. In effect, he told his Son, "Son, I love those people on earth, but they've messed up. They did things I told them not to do, and we no longer have a good relationship together. But Son, I'll give them my very best, in order to show them how much I love them."
And so it was arranged that Jesus, God's one and only Son, left the palace of all palaces — heaven — and came to earth to be born in a stinking stable, to live among people who didn't understand him, and to die on a cross between two common criminals. Why did he do this? He did all of this and more in order to show us that palaces and material things don't matter, but restored relationships do. Jesus came to demonstrate just how deep God's love for us is: so deep it reached from heaven to earth, and so wide he allowed his only Son, Jesus, to spread his arms wide on a cross as a symbol of an unbroken circle of love. If we've never recognized this love, God wants to begin a relationship with us today. He wants to forgive us for our wrong choices, but first we have to recognize and accept his Son.
Prayer: Dear God, your sacrificial love was demonstrated when you sent Jesus to show us how much you care for us. We want to thank you today for your best gift. Amen.