Advent Devotion Series: Prepare Him Room - LOVE
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Love Came Down At Christmas
I love Christmas. It is full of love, joy, and wonder. One of my favorite Christmas memory as a child is when I woke up one morning at the age of 7 and saw a Mickey Mouse piggy bank with a $20 bill in it. It was the best Christmas gift ever! My dad knew how to make me feel so loved and special. As I reflect on this very dear and cherished memory, I can’t help but think about the best gift that our Father God in heaven has given us for Christmas…the gift of His Son, Jesus. Love came down at Christmas in the form of a baby over 2000 years ago born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem. God chose to leave heaven to come down and take on flesh so that He can offer up His life to rescue and redeem mankind. Why would God do this? He did this because He loves us. He did this because He knew that sin causes a spiritual death and separation from Him. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, and Romans 6:23 say, “the wage of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. And John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”.
Before God came as a baby, Joseph received a life changing dream about his pregnant wife Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. The angel told him in the dream, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”-Matthew 1:21. What exactly is sin? Sin is disobedience to God. Sin is choosing not to live God’s way but to live our way. God presented Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for sin and we are made right with God when we accept Jesus. This is the best news and gift ever!
As you come into a time of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, reflect on God’s love from the crib to the cross. His love expressed in His self-sacrifice, in Jesus, for salvation for all who would believe. He sets us free from the shackles of sin by offering forgiveness and giving us everlasting life, hope, peace, joy and all the unsearchable riches in Christ. Although we can never repay our Father God for what He’s done, how can we respond to His love for us this Christmas? If you haven’t received God’s love for you personally by receiving Jesus into your heart, simply say “thank you Father God for loving me and sending Jesus into the world to rescue me. I receive him now for the forgiveness of my sins and choose to make him my Lord and Savior”. And for those that have received God’s love in Christ, take time to personally reflect on God’s love for you and how He wants you to respond. Praise Him and thank Him with your whole heart and soul. Continue to see how you can be His love and light to everyone around you as you celebrate His birth. God’s love poured into us should move us to love Him and others. In fact, the two greatest commandments in the Bible are, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”-Matthew 22:37-38. Who can we love better in our lives? There are many hurting people in our community and around the world. Pray and ask God who you can love and shine the light of Jesus this season.
If I can be honest with you this advent, I’m feeling both joy because of Jesus and heartbroken for the brokenness in our world, especially since witnessing the devastation of the pandemic in 2020. I know that we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic. I know that it has caused so much pain and grief in our world. Perhaps you’re in a place of hurting and feeling weary right now. I know I am. I’m holding the tension between God’s love and seeing and experiencing loss, pain and grief as a result of the pandemic. I lost my brother-in-law last to suicide. I know that the pandemic has pushed him over the edge like it has for so many. He was like a true brother to me. The pain from the loss has caused so much grief in my household. I know the band aid will be ripped off my heart when the reality sets in as we celebrate Christmas on the 25th without Tommy. I will probably have a good cry moment because I’m missing Tommy deeply. How about you? Are you feeling weary from the events that have unfolded? I pray that this will cause us to press closer to God. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29-“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble at heart and you will find rest for your souls”. This is God’s promise and I’ve chosen to turn to Jesus and learn from him to receive rest for my weary soul. I pray that you will too and that God will give you rest, comfort, strength, peace and joy for whatever season you find yourself in.
As we celebrate our Savior’s birth, holding the tension of joy and pain for some, ask God how can we respond to His love shone through Christ? How can we allow Jesus to come and bring comfort and healing to our hearts? How can we show love and gratitude in our pain? Who can we reach out that needs the love and light of Jesus? I’m praying for you my friend and asking Jesus to show up in a big way for you.
When I think about God’s love, these are just a few verses that pop in my mind:
God’s love reminds me:
1. He is always with me. Hebrews 13:5-Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
2. He will fight my battles for me. Exodus 14:14-The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.
3. I am chosen, loved and adopted into His family. -Ephesians 1:4-For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.
4. I am special and have purpose. -Ephesians 2:10-For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
5. Jesus is coming back and will restore all things. Rev. 21:3-5-And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, mourning or crying or pain. For the old order of things has passed away”. He who was seated on the throne said, “I Am making everything new!”.
What are some scripture reminders for you? We all need reminders of who God is, who we are in Him, and His deep, everlasting LOVE for us all. As Love came down as a baby over 2000 years ago to reconcile us, Love is coming back to restore all things and we shall dwell with our heavenly Father forever in everlasting love, joy, and peace. Hallelujah!
I like to share a hymn that Christina Georgina Rosetti wrote in 1885:
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas:
Star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token;
Love be yours and love be mine:
Love to God and others,
Love for plea, and gift, and sign.
Click the link to listen to the “Love Came Down at Christmas” song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssKkP78kFiM
I pray this Christmas, that God fills your heart and home with so much hope, peace, joy and love found in Christ. May you truly know how deeply loved you are by Jesus. You are His workmanship created in Christ to do good works. Run your race well dear friends, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of faith and let your light shine so that others will see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Merry Christmas and God bless each of you as you celebrate the birth of Jesus and everything that it means.
Watch the corresponding video devotion on here.