As we draw nearer to Valentine’s Day and our thoughts turn toward the ideas of “romance” and “love,” I am in the midst a series of five articles spotlighting the amazing love that God has poured out on all those who have placed their trust in Jesus Christ. This is the third article in that series.
So . . . how encouraged are you by knowing that the love of Almighty God wrought you and sought you? Today you will be even more encouraged when you see that God’s love also CAUGHT you! That is all based on a single promise that God made to—of all people!—Satan.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
When God makes a promise, you can take it straight to the bank and cash it. God promised to destroy the one who tempted Adam and Eve to turn away from Him. Here the first Gospel message (theologians call it the protoevangelium) was preached to the serpent: that the seed of the woman, the Savior of the world, would ultimately have victory over Satan by crushing his head. To be sure, the Savior would have His heel bruised, but His victory would not be denied. And that victory would grant you and me access to God’s love . . . the love that CAUGHT you!
Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Our Good Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes after the one lost sheep. What a beautiful picture of God’s love that CAUGHT us in spite of our wandering. And make no mistake, we are most definitely prone to wander away from the loving care and protection of our Good Shepherd! And yet, just as God went after Adam and Eve to speak words of healing and hope and redemption, the Good Shepherd is not content to lose even one of His flock.
You know God’s love CAUGHT you when you find your heart filled with a godly sorrow as you repent over your sin. Our hearts should break when we know we have broken the holy heart of God. The difference between Judas and Peter was not evidenced by whose sin was more terrible; both men betrayed their Lord. One might even suggest that Peter’s sin was more grotesque; at least Judas admitted that he knew Jesus! No, the distinction lies in the condition of their hearts after their sin. Judas was filled with a man-centered sorrow, while Peter was filled with a godly sorrow. One led to death . . . the other to life.
Now if being WROUGHT, SOUGHT, and CAUGHT doesn’t light the fire of your faith . . . your wood is wet! What a powerful truth to marinate in today . . . to know that no matter where we go and what we do, we are never beyond the loving, forgiving reach of our Redeemer! And once we are His, nothing can separate us from the love of God that CAUGHT us!
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. . . . And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
(John 6:37, 39)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!