Love Them

Last Saturday several men from our congregation where challenged to step up – it was a call to courageous manhood. One speaker challenged us from I Corinthians 16:13. It says “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”  To be a man requires the courage to do the right thing in the face of fear, and yet Paul also reminds us men, “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Reminds me of this story I once heard from Chuck Swindoll about a little courageous, love-filled, boy who moved into a new neighborhood. His name was Chad. (I know I shared it with you last year, but it’s one of my favorite stories).
One day, Chad came home from school and said to his mom, “Valentine’s Day is coming up and I would like to make Valentines for everyone in my class. I want all of them to know that I love them.” His mother’s heart sank as she thought; I wish he wouldn’t do that, because every afternoon she would watch the kids coming home from school, they’d be laughing and hanging on to each other, books under their arms. All, except Chad, he was always following behind them; no one seemed to pay any attention to him.
However, she decided to go along with Chad. So glue and paper and crayons were purchased and for three weeks, Chad painstakingly made 35 Valentines. When the day came to deliver the Valentines, he was so excited, this was his day. He stacked those Valentines under his arm and ran out the door.
His mother thought this was going to be a disappointing day for Chad, “I think I will make some cookies and have some milk ready for him when he gets home, maybe that will ease the pain, because he won’t be getting any Valentines.” That afternoon she put out the warm cookies and milk on the table. She scraped the frost off the living room widow and looked out, sure enough; here came the big gang of kids walking home from school. Valentines under their arms, they were laughing, they had really done well. And then there was her Chad; head down and walking faster than usual. She thought, bless his heart, he’s ready to burst into tears, his arms are empty, and he doesn’t have one Valentine.
Chad came into the house and she said, “Darling, Mom has some warm cookies and milk for you. Let’s sit down and talk about it.” But his face was all a glow. Chad marched right by her and said, “Not a one, not a single one, I didn’t forget anyone. They all know I love them.”
And so it was with Jesus on the cross, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son in to the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:9-10). Like Chad, only with much greater sacrifice, by taking my place on the cross and paying for my sin debt, it was if Jesus was saying to you and me, “Not a single one, not a single one, I didn’t forget anyone. They all know I love them.”
“Dear friends, since God soooooo… loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:11).
May we, and especially a challenge to our men, be a people, like Chad, who are marked by courageous and sacrificial love for our families, friends, and even our enemies.
Happy Valentine’s Day
Love, Mike and Vicki

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