“I will love them freely” Hosea 14:4 (KJV)
Every Christmas season I love to look for my dvd of Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol starring Alister Sims and play it at least once over the holidays. I believe there is not a scene in the entire drama that I cannot quote freely one or another of the actor’s lines from memory. If anyone else in the family joins with me to watch the movie they always forbid me reciting the lines as the actor speaks them.
The title of our devotional today is from the script and is the scene of Scrooge after his moral transformation. He is sitting at his desk trying to do his work. He breaks into giggles and laughs until the tears come to his eyes. For an instant he tries to be serious and get to work and then gives up with peals of laughter. He throws his quill over his shoulder and says, “I don’t deserve to be so happy.”
Rightly so he did not deserve to be so happy. He had been such a mean and nasty person for so many years. He had caused so many people such misery by his lack of love and compassion. Nevertheless he was hilariously happy in spite of himself.
Our verse today is especially for those who do not think themselves worthy of the goodness and grace of our Lord. I know that some people regard God as “lucky” He has them in His family. They believe themselves to be a gift from heaven to the world around them. I am not speaking to such delusional people in this devotional.
I am speaking to people such as the man I saw yesterday who has the notion that he is not worth the time of day to God. Somehow he is right at the bottom of self esteem. He feels himself to be the worst of the worst. How could God love someone such as he happens to be?
God is speaking in our verse today and says His love is free. Something that is free is sometimes thought to be of little value. Never think lightly of God’s love because it is free. God’s love is free because no one can afford to buy it. It’s value is beyond computation. No one can earn God’s favour and His love.
God’s love is for people who have a need for His love but cannot afford it. If you recognize that you are unable to gain God’s attention by good works, if you know that you have nothing to offer God in return for His love, then this verse is for you.
Take God’s love just the way you take a present at Christmas. When someone offers you a present Christmas morning you do not reach for your wallet to pay them for it. You simply reach out with your empty hand, accept the gift and say “Thank you.” It is just so with God. Simply reach out in faith, believing God offers you His love without any payment, and take it.
“COME, ALL you who are thirsty,…and you who have no money,…Come, buy…without money and without cost.” Isaiah 55:1 (NIV) Do not insult God by trying to do some good works to pay for His love. Realise His love is so precious you can only have it as a gift. When you finally see that you do not deserve it, you are then fit to receive it. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:13 (NIV)