Live Loved

Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
~ JOHN 11:26

God’s Loving Welcome

I love to hear my wife say “whoever.” Sometimes I detect my favorite fragrance wafting from the kitchen: strawberry cake. I follow the smell like a bird dog follows a trail until I’m standing over the just-baked, just-iced pan of pure pleasure. Yet I’ve learned to still my fork until Denalyn gives clearance.

“Who is it for?” I ask.

She might break my heart. “It’s for a birthday party, Max. Don’t touch it!”

Or she might throw open the door of delight. “Whoever.” And since I qualify as a “whoever,” I say “yes.”

Whoever. The pronoun is wonderfully indefinite. After all, who isn’t a whoever?

The word sledgehammers racial fences and dynamites social classes. It bypasses gender borders and surpasses ancient traditions. Whoever makes it clear: God exports his grace worldwide. For those who attempt to restrict it, Jesus has a word: Whoever.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven” 
~ Matthew 10:32 [NIV]

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” ~ Matthew 10:39 [NIV]

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” 
~ Mark 3:35 [NIV]

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” 
~ Mark 16:16 [NIV]

We lose much in life—sobriety, solvency, and sanity. We lose jobs and chances, and we lose at love. We lose youth and its vigor, idealism and its dreams. We lose much, but we never lose our place on God’s “whoever” list.

Whoever—God’s wonderful word of welcome.

~ 3:16: THE NUMBERS OF HOPE 

Heavenly Father, your welcoming love is so refreshing. When there are so many qualifications and restrictions to love here on earth, your love for anyone and everyone is touches our hearts. We praise you for loving us enough to send your Son to die for us. May we take advantage of every opportunity to tell others about your welcoming love, especially those who feel left on the fringes of life, amen.

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” 
~ MATTHEW 10:32 [NIV]  

“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” 
~ MATTHEW 10:39 [NIV]

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