Today’s Scripture Selection: First John 3:1

“How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God.”

When you think of the word “lavish” or “lavished” – what comes to mind?

For me – it’s usually the idea of some display of great wealth or beauty.  I might fantasize a bit about being a king whose servants lavish countless signs of their adoration upon him.  Words like plentiful, generous, abundant, copious, excessive, and unrestrained come to mind.

So isn’t it amazing that this is the word John uses to describe the love God has for us.  It is so plentiful, generous, abundant, copious, excessive and unrestrained that we – we of all people – are called “children of God.”

It is amazing.  And it is true.

It’s not that we are so deserving of such a lavish display of love.  It’s not that we somehow have earned it and it is our due reward.

It’s just that God loves us all – remember – “For God so loved the world….” – that much.

So the result is this lavish, amazing expression of love to us all.  And it is, as some might say, “just because.”

Remember that the next time you feel unloved and unacceptable.

God loves you with a lavish love – just because.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for your ever present, ever extravagant love of your children, of which I am one.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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