January 22, 2018

God’s Love Abounds

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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

In the last week, many parts of the world have been in turmoil.  Terror has stricken many people in our Allies across the world.  The world is in chaos, and it is going to get even more chaotic as the prophecies of the Bible come true.  However, as the world starts to wither, there are people out there who are still showing love during the thick of the trouble.

When Jesus was born, the world was a whole lot quieter than it is now.  The only real chaos that was facing Mary and Joseph was the fact that they had to report to Bethlehem as Jesus’ birth neared.  They were required to be counted as part of the Roman census.  Just Mary being pregnant by the Holy Spirit had already made life chaotic!  Joseph loved Mary, but he was going to divorce her because of the pregnancy.  However, God’s love and Joseph’s love for Mary saved Mary and Jesus. Jesus was given an earthly father—one that God approved of from the start.

As the world continues to live in chaos, there are people who are following Mary and Joseph’s example.  They are showing God’s love through the turmoil of life in today’s violent and noisy world.  In Australia and across the world, people are praying for and helping those who have been effected by this week’s tragedies.  People here in the United States are trying to help those that are less fortunate through donations and sponsoring families to help them have a good holiday season.

God loved us so much He sent His son to live among us and to die for us. If we love God then we should show that same love to our neighbors. We should be helping our neighbors when trouble hits as well as during the good times. This is showing godly love.

Loving God means knowing God.
Knowing God means showing it through prayer and service to others.

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Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us Your love through the birth and death of Jesus.  Without Him, we would not know You or be able to show Your love to others.  We would not have the ability to love. In this season of hope, peace, joy, and love, please bless those who need it the most and show Your love in ways that we can’t imagine.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Gift of Love

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Each week during the season of Advent, our blogs will focus on a central theme which is associated with the coming of Christ—His Advent.  This week’s theme is LOVE.  Christians throughout the world celebrate Advent.  Some light candles or sing songs; some give gifts or  hang wreaths.  All of these are simple joyous ways of extending the celebration of Jesus’s coming beyond a mere 24 hours on December 25. Our prayer is that these devotionals throughout this season of Advent would help you to celebrate His first Coming and anticipate with the peace and joy of His second Coming.

Love.

Some things in life can only be shown or displayed in one or two ways.  Love is a verb that has numerous forms…tons of ways of expression. Books have been written about it, songs have been sung, and poems have been penned.  Jewelry stores relay the message that their product is how husbands can show their wives they love them around Christmas time, car companies do the same for wives and toy companies do the same for parents. Love seems to be everywhere.

Some people have the love language of receiving gifts—to some, material things help them to see how much you care for them and, to these people, Christmas is a great day of expressing how we feel. And to be honest, despite our attempts to say ‘I don’t do this’ but I think all of us enjoy receiving gifts; we enjoy being thought about, appreciated and loved.

But, as easy as it is to lose our peace and hope during this time of year due to the storm of holiday excitement, it is just as easy to lose sight of the one of the truest expressions of love—one of the greatest gifts we as a people have ever received.  And that is the birth of Christ.  I try to teach my kids that Christmas is a time of giving and it’s also a time of receiving.  But when they get caught up with a case of the “I wants,” I have to stop them and ask what Christmas is all about. I need to do this for myself as well; I need to remember the love of Christ that carries me not only through this season but through every day.

But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7

Are there Scriptures  or songs you turn to when you need to be reminded of Christ’s love for you? How do you keep your eyes on the truest expression of love during this time of year?

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Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your gift of Christmas.  Thank You for the gift of Your Son and for the gift of love—Your love and the ability to show love to others. Please help us to see the things this season that will keep us close to You this holiday. Thank You, Father.  In Jesus name we pray, amen.