I like people who take in strays. I recently preached a funeral for a friend who loved stray dogs. He was drawn to dogs that had been abandoned and hurt. He liked to love them, heal them, and make them into functioning pets. My children had that same heart for stray animals, especially my daughter. She would bring home every stray dog and cat she came across. She thought all they needed was a good home with lots of love. Everything else could be fixed.

Of course, every stray dog cannot be healed. Some were too far gone physically, while others never could function in a healthy environment. It was as if they did not want anything better. But they got a chance at a new and different life … a life where they were valued and loved. And some of them did make it. They lived a long time as healthy pets. Loved by a family, and loving their family.

It makes me think about Jesus and people – you and me. I think in many ways we are like stray dogs in this world. Some of us feel unloved, beat down by life, unworthy to belong to a family. Others of us function well in this world, but realize that we are not worthy enough – good enough – to be part of God’s world. God is perfect and holy. We are not. Spiritually we are unlovable, hungry, mangy, and slinking through life with our tail between our legs.

But God sent His Son into this world to bring strays like us into His family. God loves us, offers us a home and a family, and gives us value. Jesus, God’s own Son, died on the cross so we could become part of God’s family. He makes the stray part of the family. It seems too good to be true. Maybe that is what some stray dogs think when they are rescued. Why would someone love them, feed them, pet them, and give them a home? It is because people like my friend and my daughter have a heart for strays.

Why would God send His Son into this dark world to find someone like me? Why would He offer me a home and a family? It is because He has a heart for stray people like I used to be. And I love God and Jesus because they found me when I was not lovable. They are looking for you. It seemed too good to be true, but I believed it. And it changed me forever. You can make that choice too.

I am so glad God has a Son who wants to bring home strays.
I would love to share more of the God who loves you so much He sent His Son to find you. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.

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