Pause

Love has its reasons, they say.

Love has its purposes too. It's not out there "just because," only to make us feel good, or even, as it does sometimes, to drive us crazy.

Love intends a result; love has an end in mind. When we say "God is love," we need to remember that.

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Listen

You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-7

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Think

For some reason, our culture has seen a new craze of zombies in movies, television shows, comic books, and video games. Something about the walking dead appeals to a lot of people right now. Maybe that’s how many of us feel from time to time — that we’re stumbling around, not quite alive, but not fully dead. Going through life, but not quite living it.

Even if we find ourselves in a state of not quite living life, God still loves us. We could feel dead because of what we’ve done, or as a result of another’s actions. God still loves us. Through Jesus, God brings us out of our zombie-like existence — whether “dead through trespasses” or simply undead in a haze of questions and confusion.

Whatever our condition, no matter how “dead” we are, Jesus raises us to new life. And not just to stumble through life, but to really, truly live it.

Peter Hanson

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Pray

God, you love me even when I don’t know what I’m doing. Even when it seems like I’m walking around in a haze. Even when I feel dead. Thanks for making me alive, for giving me new life through Jesus. Amen.

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Go

Jesus loves you;
This you know,
For the Bible tells you so.
Little ones - like you -
To God belong.
You are weak;
But God's love is strong.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson has been a youth minister in Minnesota, a street chaplain in Berkeley and San Francisco, a parish pastor in Vermont, and most recently a missionary in Dakar, Senegal. He now serves as interim associate pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Peter lives in St. Paul with his wife, Sarah, and their two sons, Elijah and Simon.

The Love of God

Ken Medema

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