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By God's Grace

Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show hat they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn't loving and kind, it shows that he doesn't know God - for God is love.

God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into this wicked world to bring to us eternal life through his death. In this act we see what real love is; it is not our love for God, but his love for us when he sent his Son to satisfy God's anger against our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us as much as that, we surely ought to love each other too. For though we have never yet seen God, when we love each other God lives in us and his love within us grows even stronger. 1 John 4:7-12 (TLB)

Several years ago, Eliza Smith, from Tennessee, had an eating disorder that threatened to destroy everything she held dear. During her darkest days, she became a shadow of her former self. She lied to her parents, isolated herself from her friends, and communicated only in cascading tears or hostile outbursts. She abandoned the Lord. However, the Lord never abandoned her.

Eliza eventually entered a residential treatment center. One night, God led Eliza to today's quoted scripture verse, telling her not to worry about food, as the eating disorder made her so inclined to do, or about her body, against which she harbored such hatred. The words God spoke to her that night meant something very different to her than they meant to the crowds Jesus first delivered them to. And yet mercifully, God led her to them at the very moment she needed hem most. God gave Eliza courage to pursue recovery and was with her every step of the way.

Today, by the grace of God and the support of her family, Eliza is free from her eating disorder. But when temptation returns, she thinks of that night when God provided what she needed most: God's unconditional love.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for leading us to your word and speaking to us through it. Help us not to worry but to trust in your love, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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