Today’s Scripture: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11

The story of Teddy and Ms. Thompson did not end on that Friday in December. When the students returned after Christmas, Ms. Thompson devoted all her energy towards tutoring Teddy. By the end of the school year, he had caught up and successfully moved on to the next grade. Because he was in a new school, she lost touch with him.

Seven years later, a letter arrived in her mailbox. “Dear Ms. Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know that I will be graduating second in my high school class.”

Four years later, another letter arrived informing her that Teddy was graduating from university at the top of his class. The third letter arrived a few years later: “Dear Ms. Thompson, I wanted you to be the first to know that as of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. I am going to be married in July, and I wanted to ask if you would come and sit where my mother would have sat. Dad died last year, and I have no family left.”

Ms. Thompson had made a decision to love the unlovely and help the one who needed help. As a result, not only was Teddy’s life changed, but her life was also changed. That is what understanding the love of God can do in our lives.

Before God, we all have an odor; we are all unkempt. All have sinned. When God looks at us, there is nothing lovely about us. God could have turned away from us, but He is love. So instead, He sent His Son to die in our place. Jesus died not as a martyr, but as a willing sacrifice. Do not ever forget that: God loves you because God is love.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.