“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
–Romans 5:8-9 (NLT)

A few days ago, my mom showed me a present her husband had bought her while he was on vacation. The first thing I felt was a mollusk, a clam preserved within its shell. It was a cold and wet little creature, and it didn’t look too attractive at all. The real present was inside the clam. It was a creamy pink natural pearl, smooth and oval in shape. While the clam was thrown away, the pearl was placed within a see-through starfish necklace that came in the package.

This present reminded me of God’s ability to see the beauty within each of us. Since we live in a fallen world, every one of us is born in sin. During childhood, we all tended to be very selfish and try to keep everyone’s attention on us. We’ve all lied sometimes in our lives. Some people physically steal things or kill people, while others long to take things that aren’t theirs, or imagine causing harm to people they don’t like. There are plenty of greedy people and broken promises to be found in this corrupted world. In short, we’re just as unattractive as that slimy little clam.

But in spite of all our outer ugliness, God continues to love each of us with an everlasting and unconditional love. In the name of His son’s sacrifice on the cross, God is willing and able to forgive our many sins. Jesus Christ showed the ultimate love for us, which cancels out any sin we might commit.

Besides His love and forgiveness, God wants to change and perfect each of us. He gives us opportunities to learn and grow every day. We are meant to find the lessons God patiently teaches us during our day-to-day existence on Earth. When things aren’t going our way, we’re encouraged to pray, ask God questions, and study His word. As the months and years go by, God changes us from undesirable caterpillars into beautiful butterflies by showing us where we can grow and change our figurative inner workings.

Although each of us is born in sin, you always have an open invitation to join God’s family so He can love and purify you. If you don’t know Christ yet, I encourage you to learn about Him in the Bible. He is calling you to humbly admit Him into your heart and your life. If you know Jesus and you’ve strayed away from Him, I challenge you to re-open communication with Him and re-dedicate yourself to His lessons. Once you’ve become acquainted or re-acquainted with God, He’ll start the time-consuming but loving process of changing you from the inside out, and converting you from an unattractive creature into a lovely and perfect pearl.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, check out our online store at www.amway.com/burdicksbargains. In order to support us, please register for free on our store website before purchasing anything. Thank you!

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.