Slightly Obsessed #060 "A Rose without Thorns" (Weekly Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2014-02-12 11:36:41
For God so loved, that He gave… John 3:16
My mother used to say that the only thing holidays were good for was to set people up for hurt and disappointment. It seems cynical, but unfortunately, it's often true. The world's expectations for these contrived celebrations definitely set us up for a letdown. Life just isn't as magical as we would like it to be, although marketers want us to think that if we spend enough time, effort, and money, we can achieve it.
Commercialism sets a high bar: If we don't buy the perfect gift to create a magical moment, or if we aren't the perfect spouse, child, or parent, on those special days, we are losers. So we spend the money, buy the stuff, and swallow down the sour taste the emptiness leaves in our mouths.
And it’s never enough. Because things can’t make us feel loved.
I will be the first to claim loserhood. I am nothing without God. But He doesn't see me as a loser. He sees me as a sinner, His beloved lost creation, a dear child needing a Father.
Jesus Christ came to give us the perfect gift: Himself. For a tired, hurting old world, He offers love that is eternal and beyond the natural in its fulfillment. In Him is the sweet taste of life. In Him, we can enjoy a supernatural existence that looks heavenward.
This world offers the rose but pierces the hand that reaches for it. God offers a love that is pure, beautiful, and tender. If we trust in Him, we will never be disappointed.
One day of each year we honor the idea of love. Every hour of every day of the year, God demonstrates to us His exquisite love. He shows us through His Word, through His people, through His creation, and through His Spirit. Eternity won't be long enough to tell Him thanks and give Him our hearts.
He is the rose without thorns.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.