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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"We Can Learn to Love"

February 7, 2005

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The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly. 1 Timothy 1:14

A property owner who took pride in his lawn asked a plant expert what to do to get rid of dandelions. The reply was "Learn to love them."

Dr. Alvaro A. Carino, a prominent churchman in the Philippines, records this brief exchange in his autobiography "Saved to Serve." He applies it to people of other cultures and races with whom we live: "Learn to love them."

This is good advice with regard to the whole human race, sinful as it is. As Christians we don't admire, imitate, or love peoples' sin, but we love the sinners.

This is what God Himself did. He loved all sinners despite their wrongdoing. We know He hates sin, for He is a zealously holy God. Yet He loves sinners -- loves them enough to desire and devise their salvation. Saint Paul tells Timothy: "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15). Bringing this truth closer to home, the same apostle writes: "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

While dandelions fall more into the class of weeds than flowers, their yellow rosettes are not without beauty and use. Wine can be made from the flowers, while the roots have medicinal value for liver disease. This being so, we need not fret when we see some dandelions in fields and meadows, even in our lawns and gardens.

People who seem useless, even obnoxious, often have redeeming qualities. Certainly we don't want to eradicate them. Many unborn infants are already being slaughtered. Do we want to extend this policy to other unwanted persons -- the aged, the incurable sick, the imprisoned? God is pleased if, instead, we learn to love them and give them an opportunity to serve with the gifts God has given them.

It is easy to love roses -- our friends who can return favors. It is harder to aid human dandelions, especially if they are our enemies. But that is the test of Christian love.

PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, lead me closer to Jesus and increase my love for Him and for my fellow human beings. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: Exodus 1-3    Matthew 24:1-28

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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