Week of September 5

Love Always Protects
by Max Lucado

Genesis 3:21 has been called the first gospel sermon. Preached not by preachers, but by God himself. Not with words, but with symbol and action.

“The LORD God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them” (Gen. 3:21).

God covers them. He protects them.

Love always protects.

Hasn’t he done the same for us? We eat our share of forbidden fruit. We say what we shouldn’t say. Go where we shouldn’t go. Pluck fruit from trees we shouldn’t touch.

So what does God do? Exactly what he did for our parents in the garden. He sheds innocent blood. He offers the life of his Son. And from the scene of the sacrifice the Father takes a robe—not the skin of an animal—but the robe of righteousness. And does he throw it in our direction and tell us to shape up? No, he dresses us himself. He dresses us with himself. “You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ” (Gal. 3:26–27).

God has clothed us. He protects us with a cloak of love. Can you look back over your life and see instances of God’s protection? I can too. My junior year in college I was fascinated by a movement of Christians several thousand miles from my campus. Some of my friends decided to spend the summer at the movement’s largest church and be discipled. When I tried to do the same, every door closed. Problem after problem with finances, logistics, and travel.

A second opportunity surfaced: spending a summer in Brazil. In this case, every door I knocked on swung open. Two and one half decades later I see how God protected me. The movement has become a cult—dangerous and oppressive. Time in Brazil introduced me to grace—freeing and joyful. Did God protect me? Does God protect us?

And you? Did he keep you from a bad relationship? Protect you from the wrong job? Insulate you from _______________ (you fill in the blank)? “Like hovering birds, so will [the LORD Almighty] protect Jerusalem” (Isa. 31:5 JB). “He will strengthen and protect you” (2 Thess. 3:3 NIV). “He will command his angels … to guard you” (Ps. 91:11 NIV). God protects you with a cloak of love.

book coverFrom
A Love Worth Giving
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado

NOW IN PAPERBACK
With a Reader's Guide focusing on:
1. Love Remembered: gleans crucial quotes from the chapter and invites you to reexamine them by answering some probing questions.
2. Love Deepened: uses parallel Scriptures to reinforce and clarify the thrust of the chapter.
3. Love Given: application questions to help you integrate the main focus of each chapter into your life of faith.