A thought by Max Lucado (2012-01-02) from his book, He Chose the Nails (p. 91). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Have you ever had the problem of not being included? Maybe it was in sports, maybe it was the smartest in the class or the best looking group? You felt left out. And that is not fun.
Max says, “Universities exclude you if you aren’t smart enough. Businesses exclude you if you aren’t qualified enough, and, sadly, some churches exclude you if you aren’t good enough.”
Again, that is not fun.
Max goes on, “But though they may exclude you, Christ includes you. When asked to describe the width of his love, he stretched one hand to the right and the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so you would know he died loving you.”
Max then says, “But isn’t there a limit? Surely there hast to be an end to this love. You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But David the adulterer never found it. Paul the murderer never found it. Peter the liar never found it. When it came to life, they hit bottom. But when it came to God’s love, they never did.”
Look at this verse from the Bible, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3: 16 NLT).
Max says, “Aren’t you glad the verse does not read: ‘For God so loved the rich...’? Or ‘For God so loved the famous...’? Or ‘For God so loved the thin...? It doesn’t. Nor does it state, ‘For God so loved the Europeans or Africans...’ ‘the sober or successful...’ ‘the young or the old...’
“No, when we read John 3: 16, we simply (and happily) read, ‘For God so loved the world.’ How wide is God’s love? Wide enough for the whole world. Are you included in the world? Then you are included in God’s love. It’s nice to be included. You aren’t always.”
Did you know that you are included in God's love?