John 15:9-17 (NIV)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

John 3:15 (NRSV)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

DEVOTION – Susan D. McBride (Florida)

“I know that my hair is sometimes questionable when I get out of bed in the morning,” my husband smiled as he walked into the kitchen for his morning coffee.  “But I just looked in the mirror, and what I saw almost frightened me!”

I smiled because I could certainly relate to what he was saying.  Who hasn’t looked in the mirror and been shocked, surprised, or amused at what they saw?  Mirrors play a very important part in helping us maintain our appearance, and what we see influences how we feel about ourselves.  But is a mirror that shows us how we appear to ourselves and to other people as valuable as one that would allow us to see ourselves as God sees us?

Easter is the perfect reflection of how God feels about us.  When we look at the cross, we see that God loves us enough to die to have a relationship with us.  That tells us how much God values each one of us.  When we look at the empty tomb, we see that no matter what happens, God has the power to see us through anything – even death.  Knowing this, we can face life with trust.  Jesus came to show us God and to reflect God’s love for us.  (John 14:8-9.)  Easter invites us to see ourselves worthy of redemption, loved beyond measure, and created for eternal life!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God looks at us with eternal love.

PRAYER:  God of the empty tomb, thank you for your love that is beyond understanding.  Help us to see and love others and ourselves as you do.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Doubting God’s Love For Them