Thursday, March 27, 2014

Love without limit -- Today's Devotion from Mike MacIntosh


By Mike MacIntosh

From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs." And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs."  Then He said to her, "For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter." And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

Mark 7:24-30

In one short passage from the book of Mark, we see Jesus breaking all stereotypes and going to people that need to be loved.  Jesus is in a hostile and foreign country just north of Israel (modern day Lebanon), a nation whose Greek people were considered "unclean."  But it is no accident that this passage is placed right here in Mark.  I mean, think about this; the previous incident shows Jesus wiping out all distinction between clean and unclean food, and now Jesus shows us that there is no distinction between clean and unclean people (the Jews and the Greeks).  You see, in Jesus Christ we are all one people of God; all able to love Him, live for Him, and serve Him.  And He loves us just the same.  John tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever (even a Greek, Syro-Phoenician woman) believes in Him would have eternal life!

Maybe you are a person that didn't have a dad or a mom, or your relationship with them was strained.  Or maybe you've been struggling because you've never really received love from people.  Well, you are just the prime candidate for the Lord to show you.  He loves you!  He loves the lovable and the unlovable.  Do you see it here?  There are no geographical borders to God's love.  There are no religious things that you have to do in order to get God's love.  Jesus Christ shattered all of that.  Your relationship with the Lord, and His love for you, isn't about a religious activity; it's a relationship with Him. Jesus traveled miles to seek and to save those who were lost (Luke 19:10), and He's doing the same today.  He is reaching out to you in love and compassion.  It doesn't matter where you've been, where you're from, or what your social or economic status is.  God loves you and is setting you free from your bondage.  For whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18).

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