Love

Howdy everyone, and welcome to week 2 of our advent series: “The Arrival.”

 

On Sunday we looked at the idea that “The Baby IS God’s LOVE!” Jesus Christ in the manger IS God grabbing a bullhorn and saying to the world: “I LOVE YOU!!!!” This week I invite you to join me in reflecting upon this wonderful truth and then also going before the Lord and asking how we may join Him in loving others.

 

As the apostle John wrote:

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:11-12

 

We’re also going to spend some time this week reflecting on the nature of God’s love. Jesus’ arrival opens the floodgates to God’s love being poured out upon humanity in a different way than it was before. And ever since His birth, this love is powerfully present for us. I hope you are blessed in your reflections this week!

 

Monday December 11, 2017

We’re going to start this week with another beautiful song for you to reflect upon. This is Celine Dion’s version of “Oh, Holy Night.” As a musician and a vocalist, I appreciate the incredible vocal work she does on this song. The power at which she belts out the word, “Noel” literally robs me of breath. It’s amazing. If you haven’t heard this version you are in for a treat! However, I also want you to consider the lyrics of this song as you listen. I’ve put them here for you. Not only is this a beautiful song, but the lyrics are so descriptive, so profound. This song looks in awe at the fact that this night of Christ’s birth is so powerful! Check it out and reflect on the lyrics for this song… Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sEP5_7DMu0

 

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Can you remember a time when you realized, “Oh, man that person really cares about me.” or “Oh, wow, they really love me!” What was happening? My guess is, they were doing something that demonstrated to you they care. Often they were sacrificing something for you, or doing something for you they absolutely didn’t have to do.

God’s love is demonstrated for us in Jesus Christ!

Today let’s reflect upon this verse from 1 John 4:10. What do you notice from these words? Give yourself a few minutes today to read this verse and consider its words. It talks about God’s love and what His love motivates Him to do. Then consider that Christmas is the enactment what this verse talks about.

 

Wednesday December 13, 2017

God’s love for you is without condition.

What does this mean? It means He loved you before you ever did anything to deserve it. His love exists for you regardless of your good and bad behavior. He loved you before you loved Him, and nothing changes that. Here are some scriptures for you to consider with this:

1 John 4:19

Romans 8:35

Ephesians 2:1-5

What thoughts and feelings emerge for you as you consider that God’s love for you is without condition?

 

Thursday December 14, 2017

God’s love for you is Eternal.

This is really kind of a crazy and mind-boggling thought. God is eternal. God is unchanging. God is not going to change his mind regarding you. His love for you is eternal and his intention is to love you eternally. Let’s continue in Ephesians 2 reading verse 6-9.

Can you see God’s intention to love you forever? Everything He does on Christmas, begins with His love. It is eternal.

 

Last night I had a conversation with a gentleman who told me he had a hard time with the idea of being alive 10,000 years from now. He figured at some point he’d just be so sick of everything; that he’d beg to be released from existence. He asked me if I ever thought about that. I told him I have, but then I am reminded of the glories of heaven. It’s hard to imagine being alive forever. It seems like after awhile heaven would become a droll place when we forget that God is so glorious and we will be in awe of His glory and kindness is such a way that thousands of eons could pass and we may not even know it. The Bible tells us one day for God is like 1,000 years for us (2 Peter 3:8). He exists outside of time. Heaven will be a place where we experience no time- just God’s glory and kindness. Heaven, in my humble and limited estimation, will be a place of joy, worship, glory, and play before God. It will be a place of peace, rest, celebration and exuberance. We often forget that God is a great Creator with unending imagination, and He has given us this quality as we are made in His image. It doesn’t seem unlikely, to me, that we will be building, designing, and creating glorious things with God. The imagination and the depths of God’s beauty, combined with the joy of his kindness towards us and living life on a completely different scale where time is not involved, makes it seem likely to me that eons of time will pass and we will not care. Because the reality is that time will be of no consequence to us. I say this all to say- one thing is clear- God’s love will be eternal for us- and it’s all possible because of Jesus!

 

Friday December 15, 2017

God’s love for you is life transforming.

God’s love changes the course of our lives. God’s love directs us, and redefines us.

Let’s read Ephesians 2:6-10. Pay particular attention to verse 10. You are now a masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works!!! What are these good works? They are the same works Jesus spoke about when He said, “Those who believe in me will do the things I’ve been doing and more because I go to the father.” God has planned these works a long time ago- for you. What did Jesus do? He loved people. He brought the kingdom of God to them. Check out Jesus’ messianic job description and as you read it consider that Jesus wants you to do the same stuff.

Now read Luke 4:18-19. John tells us that just as God loves us we ought to love one another. What is a way you can show God’s love to someone this Christmas season?

 

Saturday December 16, 2017

Enjoy the beauty of the Christmas season.

One final invitation to you is to take time- even if it’s short- to enjoy the beauty. Maybe you go look at Christmas lights, or watch a Christmas movie, or go to a nativity scene. In all of this, I encourage you to take some time to slow down and consider that the baby is God’s love and kindness sent for you!