February – the month of candy, flowers, and cards expressing one’s love to another. An interesting facet of love is that it has a strange and yet wonderful ability to overlook a multitude of imperfections – much like the man who fell in love with an opera singer. He hardly knew her as his only view of the singer was through binoculars from the balcony. But he was convinced that he could live “happily ever after” married to a voice like hers. He scarcely noticed that she was considerably older than he was. Nor did he care that she walked with a limp. Her fabulous voice would take them through whatever might come. After a whirlwind romance and ceremony, they were married and off for their honeymoon.

Their first night together, the blushing bride began to prepare herself for bed. As her new husband watched, his chin suddenly dropped to his chest. His wife reached up and plucked her glass eye out of its socket and plopped it into a container on the night stand. She then pulled off her wig, ripped off her eyelashes, yanked out her dentures, unstrapped her artificial leg, and smiled at him as she removed her glasses that hid her hearing aids. Stunned and horrified, he gasped and cried out, “For goodness sakes, woman, sing … sing … SING!”

It’s easy to say “I love you” from a distance, but it’s an entirely different matter up close and personal because you never know what kind of a mess you may be getting yourself into. And yet God sees us in all of our messes and still opens his arms wide to receive us in love. Scripture reminds us that we are the crown of his creation regardless of imperfections and failures. His love for us is such that He went to the greatest of extremes to demonstrate it.

Paul expressed that extreme in Romans 5:
“At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly…God demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Or as John put it, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

God wants each of us to experience His love in an up close and personal relationship through Jesus Christ and to share that love with others that desperately need it.

Are you admiring God from a distance or are you willing to get up close and personal?

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill

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