Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Love Divine All Loves Excelling"1 (Lyrics)
John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)
Many years ago, I brought home a lovely Siamese kitten when he was about three months old. We decided to name him Blue. He was a joy to us. Of course, as a kitten, he wanted to behave as a kitten and enjoy lots of play. When we went to the table, he would be nearby. As I sat to eat, it was his ongoing expectation that he should sit on my lap and eat from my plate with me! So up he would jump to my lap to begin his feast. Over and over again, I lifted him back down from my lap to the floor. At last, in desperation, I took a bottle of water and squirted it his way. That ended the matter. He knew at once that he could not sit on my lap and eat from my plate.
From that day on, Blue developed into a kitty that was a real pleasure to enjoy as a companion. He loved to sit on my lap and be petted. Watching him and playing with him was fun.
Blue lived with us for many years. He was such a well-behaved cat that rarely acted in ways that he knew were against our wishes. We missed him a lot when he went to sleep.
Some years later, another Siamese kitten joined our household. Expectations were that he would behave like the first Blue. We named him Blue Too.
Our expectations were soon shot down! He surprised us daily with his unexpected actions. He wanted to be on our kitchen table, and no matter how many times we lifted him off or squirted him with water, whenever he felt the urge, he would jump up on the table and stay there till we got him off.
He had interesting night behaviour, too. He wanted me to get up in the wee hours of the morning and turn on a light. If I failed to meet his expectations, he would leap to the night table and begin knocking off table articles, one by one. That would get me up and the light on. I would then move to pick him up and shut him outside the bedroom. Many times, he eluded me nimbly as I reached for him and found myself energetically grasping the air with both hands as he escaped my efforts.
This Siamese kitty, with us now for nine years, has maintained undesirable kitty behaviour while enjoying all the affection and care which we give him. We can see clearly the variations of pet behaviour.
We, too, as humans, differ in our daily behaviour. Some of us grow into fine people behaving in ways generally pleasing to God, but not always. One read of a newspaper or view of a television news program reveals before us a wide range of human behaviour — some good, some troublesome, and some downright despicable. If we consider carefully, we realize that, in truth, not one of us is perfect; at times, we all are less than perfect. When the time comes, not one of us is fit to come into God's presence on our own merit.
God has sent help for us. John writes that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God has come to us in human form to reach us in a way that we can fully understand. He came to us in Jesus, full of grace and truth.
Someone has termed "grace" as "God's unmerited favour". What we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us, lavishing His love upon us at the cost of the cross. God's gracious gift to us of forgiveness is freely given. When we receive that gift, He sees us as perfect. Through His grace, received through faith, we will one day see Him in the fullness of His glory!
Prayer: God of grace and truth, help us to grasp the greatness of Your love for each one of us, no matter how we have failed You. Help us daily to hold dearly and close to our hearts the knowledge of Your kindness towards us, so that we can daily grow more like the One who revealed the depth of Your generosity. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.