Kevin Labby is Senior pastor of Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, Florida.

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Devotional - God Loves You, All of You

Devotional - God Loves You, All of You

"He comforts us every time we have trouble so that when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us."

- 2 Corinthians 1:4

We were part of a team working in a very poor section of Mexico City. Following worship one Sunday morning, the medical professionals in our group set up a clinic in the community center where we worshipped. Over the course of many hours, they welcomed church members and local residents to receive free dental, eye, and general medical exams and care. Scores of people showed up - men and women, young and old, visibly healthy and obviously sick.

Not being a medical professional, I volunteered to help wherever I could. I was assigned to help match those of poor eyesight with a pair of donated glasses according to their newly received prescription. I'm so grateful for the opportunity because what I saw shortly thereafter has since become a treasured memory.  

A young boy, probably no more than 10 years old, approached our makeshift dispensary with his mother. Until that day, he never had a pair of glasses, but probably needed them for most of his young life. He'd never seen the world clearly. For his entire life, everything was more or less a blur. 

We handed him a donated pair of glasses perfectly suited for him. As his mom slipped them on his face with eager anticipation, his eyes brightened and his mouth opened with awe! My eyes, on the other hand, welled with tears and my mouth shut in rapt silence. In a matter of seconds, his whole perspective on the world changed for the better.

Sometimes, we can reduce the gospel to a spiritual message with only spiritual implications. However, the gospel is not only good news for spiritual things; it's good news for all things. Through Jesus Christ, God is reconciling all things to himself. He is making all things new.  

Thankfully, those medical professionals weren't merely concerned for the young boy's soul; they shared God's heart for all of him, body and soul. They understood that God hasn't called us to be mere hearers or even mere preachers of his Word; he's called and equipped us to be doers of it as well (James 1:22). As we obey, we see God's comfort to us flow through us, outward to a world in need of hope and healing. 

Child of God: As we continue this Advent season, remember that God loves you - all of you. He has every hair on your head numbered not as a matter of trivia, but as an expression of his deep and total affection.

Moreover, he cares for you to overflowing so that he might care for others through you. His generous care for you equips you to care for others in his Name.

With that in mind, how might God graciously enlighten the eyes of another's heart through your love and care this Advent season?

You're loved. Don't forget it.

Sermon - Start Over, Part 1: "Making Peace with Your Past"

Sermon - Start Over, Part 1: "Making Peace with Your Past"

Devotional - The Bright Light of Jesus

Devotional - The Bright Light of Jesus