Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Advent #6: The Preparation of God's Love

Her words broke my heart. "I can't believe God loves me." This sweet, and much loved, woman wasn't kidding. She didn't believe God loved her. Despite years of serving Him, she didn't trust the most basic truth on which the entire gospel rests. As a result, she'd missed the sweetness of the love relationship God had planned.

God loved us and sent His Son.

The love of God is a hard concept to comprehend, but it's no less truth. God loves me. He loves you, and His love is unchangeable. It's not dependent upon our goodness or our worthiness. He loves, despite us.

The prophet Jeremiah had an experience that was seared into his heart forever. "The Lord appeared to me from afar, saying, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.'" (Jer 31:3) When Jeremiah understood that love, the only response he could make was to love in return. 

In that same way, we need a heart-searing experience, too, in which God speaks directly to our hearts. "I love you." We need to hear it for ourselves. When we begin to understand the everlasting love of God for us, it changes everything. We're compelled to love, both God and others, by the deep love shown to us. 

The point of Christmas is summed up in one verse. "God loved us and sent His Son..." (John 3:16) He knew our sin. He knew we deserved death and hell. He could have allowed us to remain in our sin and head straight to destruction, but He didn't. God chose to provide a way out, and that Way is love incarnate. Jesus.

The love of God appeared, wrapped in flesh and swaddling cloths, and nestled in a bed of hay. The love of God dwelt with us, walked among us, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead, and carried the cross. The love of God shattered the power of death and the grave, flung off the stone from in front of the tomb, and rent the division between us. 

The love of God, in the form of the Spirit, dwells within us today. His monumental love is available to all who will believe. 

"for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16 nasb

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:10

During the Advent season, we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Embracing His love is one of our most important acts of preparation. May we each hear the truth of the Lord today and plant it deep in our hearts: 

He loved us. 
He still loves us. 
He will never stop loving us.

Let's read those words aloud and insert our names. "He loved me. He still loves me. He will never stop loving me." 

The love of God is the bedrock of truth. There is no Christmas without it. This day, may we be still long enough to know not only that He is God, but also that God is love and He loves us. 
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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link:#5: When Joy Flowed Forth and Splashed Into My Heart

Here are the links to the other posts in this series: #4 The King Who Will Not Let Us Down., #3 Preparing for Transformation#2 Preparing for the King with an Humble Heart, and #1 Getting Ready for Jesus

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