Time Out

I’ve come to hold in high regard the phrase “time-out” -- probably because our 4-year-old toddler really hates it. This form of discipline works quite well for her – in that she sheds a tear or two just upon hearing the phrase from me. As parents, we discipline our kids because we care about them and hope for them to make good choices as they mature. In fact, it is biblical: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them” (Proverbs 13:24).
 
Just as we care about our children, so does God, our heavenly Father care about us, His children, who are called by His Name. Scripture tells us that the Lord disciplines the one He loves, as referenced in Hebrews 12:4-11. In an earthly father-child relationship, the care expressed by the father (or mother) toward the child is one that the child cannot quite reciprocate because of their young mind.

However, in our relationship with our heavenly Father, we are to respond to His love and care for us. This is expressed through our faithfulness and obedience to Him. Our obedience to God’s Word is always good proof of how much we care for the things God cares about.
 
So, what does God care about? Nothing touches the heart of God more than the people He created in His own image. The famous Bible verse in the John’s gospel, states, “This is how much God loved the world; He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16, MSG).
 
The world is filled with people; hence, God loves people. And if God loves people, so must we; because we must care about the things God cares about. This was the epitome of Jesus’ ministry on earth. The Bible is full of evidence of the exemplary life Christ led loving people. Let’s list a few examples here, and you are welcome to add to the list as you reflect on these:
  • the Samaritan woman at the well – John 4:4-26
  • Zacchaeus, the tax collector – Luke 19:1-10
  • the adulterous woman – John 8:1-11
  • the dying thief on the cross – Luke 23:39-43
These stories reveal Jesus’ love for all men, irrespective of their life stories and backgrounds. They reveal the true heart of God!
 
As we approach this Easter season, I want to encourage you to prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to spark a renewed sense of love, a genuine one, toward all kinds of people. Jesus approached, interacted with and touched people from all manner of life. If we claim to love God and care about Him and the things He cares about, let’s do as Jesus did, showing love to all!
 
By George Donkor

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