Friday, December 3


Pluto got bumped. Cut from the first team, demoted from the top nine. According to a committee in Prague, this outpost planet fails to meet solar system standards. They downgraded the globe to asteroid #134340. Believe me, Pluto was not happy… Can’t fault Pluto for being ticked. One day he’s in, the next he’s out; one day on the squad, the next day off. We can understand his frustration. Some of us understand it all too well. We know what it’s like to be voted off. Wrong size. Wrong color. Wrong address.


For God so loved…


We’ve all but worn out the word. This morning I used love to describe my feelings toward my wife and toward peanut butter. Far from identical emotions. I’ve never proposed to a jar of peanut butter (though I have let one sit on my lap during a television show). Overuse has diffused the word, leaving it with the punch of a butterfly wing.

Compare our love with God’s? Look at the round belly of the pregnant peasant girl in Bethlehem. God’s in there; the same God who can balance the universe on the tip of his finger floats in Mary’s womb. Why? Love.

Love explains why he came.

Love explains how he endured.

His hometown kicked him out. A so called friend turned him in. Hucksters called him a hypocrite. Sinners called God guilty. Do termites mock an eagle, tapeworms decry the beauty of a swan? How did Jesus endure such derision?

“For God so loved…”

“Observe how Christ loved us ….He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us” (Ephesians 5:2 MSG).

Your goodness can’t win God’s love. Nor can your badness lose it. But you can resist it. We tend to do so honestly. Having been Plutoed so often, we fear God may Pluto us as well. Rejections have left us skittish and jumpy. Like my dog Salty.

…He didn’t have much to start with; now the years have taken his energy, teeth, hearing and all but eighteen inches worth of his eyesight.

Toss him a dog treat and he just stares at the floor through cloudy cataracts. (or, in this case, dogaracts?) He’s nervous and edgy, quick to growl and slow to trust. As I reach out to pet him, he yanks back. Still, I pet the old coot. I know he can’t see, and I can only wonder how dark his world has become.

We are a lot like Salty. I have a feeling that most people who defy and deny God do so more out of fear than conviction. For all our chest pumping and braggadocio, we are an anxious folk--can’t see a step into the future, can’t hear the one who owns us. No wonder we try to gum the hand that feeds us.

But God reaches and touches. He speaks through the immensity of the Russian plain and the density of the Amazon rainforest. Through a physician’s touch in Africa, a bowl of rice in India. Through a Japanese bow or a South American abraco. He’s even been known to touch people through paragraphs like the one you are reading. If he is touching you, let him.

Mark it down. God loves you with an unearthly love. You can’t win it by being winsome. You can’t lose it by being a loser.

God will not let you go. He has handcuffed himself to you in love. And he owns the only key. You need not win his love. You already have it. And since you can’t win it, you can’t lose it.

Others demote you. God claims you. Let the definitive voice of the universe say, “You’re still part of my plan.”

Borrowed from The 3:16 Promise by Max Lucado.

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