by David Sisler

Sunday morning was a special time for Joan Benny and her father, Jack Benny. They would have breakfast together at 7:30 and then they would go outside to go for a drive.

When they got into the car, Jack Benny would put the key in the switch and turn it, but nothing would happen. He would push every button on the dashboard, twist all of the knobs, and pump the accelerator. No matter what he did, the car would not start.

After a while, Jack would say, "Honey, the car just won't start until you give me a kiss."

Joan Benny said, "So I did, and it did – and off we went. For a long time I believed there was some kind of scientific connection between kissing and car starting."

That Sunday morning ritual may have been echoed a few years ago in Petula Clark's hit recording, "What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love."

No one could accuse Chante Mallard of being full of love. For that matter, no one would accuse her of having any compassion at all.

Chante Mallard, a nurse’s aid, was charged by police in Fort Worth, TX, with murder. Her weapon was not a gun, or a knife, or a bottle of poison. Her weapon was her car.

While driving under the influence of alcohol and Ecstasy, she hit Gregory Biggs. The impact broke his legs and hurled him headfirst through the windshield. Mallard drove home, parked her car in her garage with Biggs, still alive, sticking through the windshield. She visited him in her garage, ignoring his pleas for help. She did apologize to Biggs over the two days it took him to bleed to death. After he died, she got some friends to help her dump the body in a local park.

“M is for the million things she gave me.” So begins Howard Johnson’s famous poem, “M-O-T-H-E-R.” For Andrea Yates, the first “M” stands for “murderer.”

A pediatric pathologist testifying in the Yates murder trial says Mrs. Yates’ five children died slowly, each struggling and gasping for air as she drowned them one by one in the family bathtub. It would have taken each child three minutes to lose consciousness, and another three minutes to die. In each case Mrs. Yates would have had time to resuscitate the child afterwards, but did not.

Thank God there is such a thing as real love. Thank God he has shown us what that is. When we think about love and all of the qualifications some people put on extending their affections, it is sometimes hard to understand a love that is given without condition – God's love.

Some 2500 years ago the prophet Jeremiah said that God appeared to him and made this fantastic statement: "I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you to me" (Jeremiah 31:13). Hundred of years after Jeremiah recorded those words, the Apostle Paul declared, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

The scope of those two verses is almost beyond our comprehension. While we were yet sinners, no, before we were born, God declared his love for us – for all men and women everywhere.

A songwriter said, "Love isn't love until you give it away." If that is true, then love proves itself in deeds, not in words. God proved His love for sinful humanity when he gave Jesus, his only begotten, well-beloved Son, to be a ransom for our sins.

John 3:16 deserves its place as the most popular verse in the Bible: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

That verse proclaims, God loved the world. It was not one nation, it was not the good people, it was not the people who loved him. God loved the unlovable and the unlovely. He loves the people who have no one else to love them. No matter what you think about God, he loves you. God loves you as if you were the only one he had to love.

The amazing thing is God loves Chante Mallard and Andrea Yates. If he did not, could you trust him to love you? How would you know if you crossed a line of where his forgiveness could not reach?

Do you ever feel like just giving up, that there is no way anyone could love you – not even God? Do you understand that God loves you with a love far greater than your ability to understand it? Then step into the center of that love through personal faith in His Son!


Copyright 2002 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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