16th February 2020

Transforming Power of Love

“Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

A few years ago, in Colorado there was a story of a mother rescuing her five-year-old from a mountain lion. The boy had been playing with his brother while his mother was in the house. She heard screaming and ran outside to find the mountain lion on top of her boy with his head inside its mouth. She charged the animal, yanked its paws out of the way and prised open its jaws to release her son. Where did she get the courage and strength? Love gave this mother the ability to save her son. Love can create physical change in people, as here, but love is also the starting point for any transformation. The Bible is filled with stories which show this, but here’s one of my favourites:

Zacchaeus was a tax collector who were despised by the Jews. Not only were tax collectors linked to the Roman oppressors, but many of them were known for charging a ‘little extra’ for themselves. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, so you can imagine how disliked he was! A crowd gathered because Jesus was coming to Jericho. Zacchaeus was too short to see over the crowd, so he climbed a tree to see Jesus. “When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said. ‘Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.’ Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy” (Luke 19:5-6).

What did the crowd do next? They complained and grumbled and criticised Jesus for hanging about with a ‘notorious sinner’. But Jesus’ acceptance of this ‘notorious sinner’ prompted Zacchaeus: “Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’ Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost’” (Luke 19:8-10).

Jesus knew that loving relationship was the starting place for change to happen, so that’s where he began. He didn’t come with a list of wrongs which Zacchaeus needed to make right. He loved him and wanted to be with him, flaws and all. Feeling loved made Zacchaeus want to be better. Love can give us physical strength, like the mother saving her boy. But when we know we are loved we also want to do better and be better, just like Zacchaeus. May you be transformed by knowing how deeply you are loved.

Loving Father, help us to learn to love as you love, so that we may learn to love others in the same way. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Presented by Michelle Fleming

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Michelle Fleming is an Elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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