Monday, October 23, 2017

Unconditional Love

September 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

For the last four weeks I’ve been privileged with a front row seat to the miracle of life. One of my ducks, Dorothy, spent the hottest part of this year so far tending to a nest of eggs laid in late June and she now has three newly-hatched ducklings to show for her patience. What I didn’t realize until I started raising these animals a few years ago is that successfully incubating duck eggs is no small achievement; it takes 28 days of constant nurturing if there is to be any hope of success. More than 20 hours every day are invested in sitting and waiting, with God-given instinct and love as the expectant mother’s only motivation.

This is the perfect picture of unconditional love. Not only can we see the faithfulness of God exemplified in a mother who sacrifices every comfort to give life to her unborn offspring, but we see that same love reciprocated by hatchlings that are completely dependent upon her continued care and provision. Even when the time comes for them to leave the nest, they will go only where she leads. Their only shelter is in the shadow of her wings and their only comfort in the reassurance of her presence.

“We love him, because He first loved us.”

          –1 John 4:19

Many Christians take great pride in their commitment to God and love for Him, as if they were the pursuer in the greatest love story of all time. Certainly this is not the case. However faithful we may be in our prayer life, our Bible studies, or in any other facet of our walk with God, our goodness pales in comparison to the One who came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). We love Him only because He first loved us. We pray only because He prayed, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through [the apostles’] words” (John 17:20). We have hope only because our souls have been ransomed by His blood (Hebrews 9:1222). As Paul wrote, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived…but after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:3-5).

There you have it. Regardless of how magnificent a transformation occurred when you were born again in Christ, you can’t take credit for any of it. It’s all God’s work. He’s the Author of our faith, and, as we read in Ephesians 2:8, even such saving faith is a Divine gift. Every good and perfect gift comes from the hand of God (James 1:17), so anything we give Him in return is only our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). May we all learn to give Him our all, not for recognition, but to bring honor to the one who gave His all for us.

Dakota has been writing since 2009 when he started sharing frequent devotionals on the now-popular blog, “A Look at Life from a Deerstand.” As a lover of both God and the great outdoors, his goal is to share Christ with his readers in a way that is easy to understand while encouraging the saint and seeker alike to explore the truths of Scripture on their own. He is currently authoring an e-book, “In the Cool of the Day”, which is scheduled to release in 2012 and resides with his family in St. Louis, Missouri

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