EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. … But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:6, 8 NKJV
PERSONAL REFLECTION: To make a long story rather short…
The Wednesday before this past Christmas, my three-year-old nephew (at the time, he was two), was kidnapped by his mother. She had been in the military the entire year, barely contacting my nephew. However, once she was discharged, she just came back and took him. She took him from everything he was familiar with and from the people he loved and loved him back. After nine months of waiting, dishing out loads of money to lawyers, more waiting and trusting God, we finally got my nephew back.
Through it all, I kept thinking that there just had to be something God wanted me to learn. You see, I love all of my friends and family but with my nephew, it’s a different kind of love. I might even love him more than anybody I know. I love him so much that I would gladly lay my life down for him. I would even gladly lay my life down for my friends and other family. However, do I love my friends and family enough that I could sacrifice my nephew, the one I love more than anything, for their survival? Thankfully, I never have to make that choice.
During The Gathering (Tuesday chapel at Lipscomb University), a speaker talked about those two verses in Romans. I started crying because it finally hit me just how absolutely beautiful the story of Jesus is, and God used my nephew to illustrate it to me. God loves Jesus more than anyone because Jesus is God’s own Son. It’s an unexplainable love. However, God also loves us. While I would never be able to sacrifice my nephew for my friends, God was able to sacrifice His only Son for us so that we could live.
When I was “without strength” while my nephew was away, Christ still died for me. God demonstrated His love by sending Christ to die for us. God took Jesus away from everything He was familiar with and sent Him here to die for us so we would never have to make that choice.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: All around us and through our friends and family are metaphors of God’s ultimate sacrifice. He is constantly reminding us that no matter what, He is in the midst of every situation and is teaching us something new about His sacrifice every day.
PRAYER: God, I pray that we may never take Your sacrifice for granted. I pray that You continually show us just how beautiful the sacrifice You made for us is and that we are left completely in awe of the amazing grace You showed so that we could live.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marissa Valenzuela is a sophomore at Lipscomb University and is studying psychology to, one day, become a child psychologist. She currently works at Mathnasium and loves every minute of her job. In her spare time she plays with her nephew, fantasizes over cars she will never be able to afford, eats toast, and sleeps.