Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) The your here is plural. One of the devil’s primary strategies is to pick off someone who gets isolated from the rest. Imagine going on a safari...
4. Jesus cherishes his people (a love that values you)
“For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Eph. 5:29). Brother, sister in Christ, there is never a moment when you are not the object of the conscious affection of the Son of God. Others may say, “Nobody really cares about me,” but you could never say that.
5. Jesus presents his people (a love that endures forever)
“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (5:25, 27). Every time you go to a wedding, you hear: “Til death do us part.” Why do we remind the bride and groom about dying on their wedding day? We want them to value every day of their marriage because it won’t last forever. Value your children, your friends, and the people God places around you because none of this will last forever.
But Christ pledges a love to you that will never end. He does not say, “Til death do us part.” He says, “I will love you in life, I will love you through death, and then I will present you in splendor, in glory, faultless, with all the wrinkle-causing effects of your life on earth gone and behind you completely; I will welcome you in glory and I will love you forever.”
Pick one way that Jesus loves his people. What does it mean to you? How does it encourage you today?