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Beliefnet is pleased to present the first 7 days of devotionals from Max Lucado’s “3:16: The Numbers of Hope” (Thomas Nelson, 2007). This is Day 4 of the week-long devotional. If you missed the previous days, stay subscribed to this feed to start over at the end of the week.
DAY 4–BECAUSE OF LOVE
“For God so loved the world that he gave
his one and only Son, that whoever believes
in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
–John 3:16
Would you do what Jesus did? He swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable. He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers. He could hold the universe in his palm but gave it up to float in the womb of a maiden.
If you were God, would you sleep on straw, nurse from a breast, and be clothed in a diaper? I wouldn’t, but Christ did.
If you knew that those you loved would laugh in your face, would you still care?… Christ did.
He humbled himself. He went from commanding angels to sleeping in the straw. From holding stars to clutching Mary’s finger. The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier.
Why? Because that’s what love does. It puts the beloved before itself.
Love goes the distance … and Christ traveled from limitless eternity to be confined by time in order to become one of us. He didn’t have to. He could have given up. At any step along the way, he could have called it quits.
When he saw the size of the womb, he could have stopped.
When he saw how tiny his hand would be, how soft his voice would be, how hungry his tummy would be, he could have stopped. At the first whiff of the stinky stable, at the first gust of cold air. The first time he scraped his knee or blew his nose or tasted burnt bagels, he could have turned and walked out.
When he saw the dirt floor of his Nazareth house. When Joseph gave him a chore to do. When his fellow students were dozing off during the reading of the Torah, his Torah. At any point Jesus could have said, “That’s it! That’s enough! I’m going home.” But he didn’t.
He didn’t, because he is love.
–Max Lucado
From 3:16: The Numbers of Hope, by Max Lucado (2007). Used with permission of Thomas Nelson Publishers, Inc.

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