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.

Love Expressed

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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.

 

The song, “The Christmas Shoes” can speak to us about love in heart-touching ways! Oh, to have the love and faith of a small child is such a wonderful thing. Little ones often teach us how to express love to others.

If you’re aware of this song, you know that a little boy desperately wants to get a beautiful pair of shoes for his mom before she passes away and meets Jesus. It’s a sad song, and maybe some don’t even want to listen to it. But some of the hardest or saddest experiences before us can teach our hearts about what’s really important. This song can teach us what’s important at Christmas time…or any other day of the year….love! So, I pause and reflect on this song…seeing how this small child mirrors the great love of God in several ways.

First, there’s the recognition of the little boy’s great love for his mom. (God loved us.) The little boy knew he wanted to do something to show his love for her and to give her what he thought she needed before it was too late. (God knew we needed a way to be reconciled to Him, so out of love He sent His Son to earth to be our Savior of the world.) The little boy went to the store and gave all he had to buy the shoes for his mom. And when he hit an obstacle and didn’t have enough money, he persevered, and asked for help and got it. Love would not let him stop! (God gave His most loved and wonderful possession–His Son. And when Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew the cost and what would take place in giving His life as a sacrifice; and it was there in the Garden that He cried out to God in prayer. God supplied His need. Jesus would fulfill God’s will for His life. Love would not let Him stop!) When the little boy bought the shoes for his mom, he ran home to give them to her on Christmas Eve. True and absolute love were expressed as he gave from his little heart of love what he thought she needed most—new shoes for her to wear when she would meet Jesus. (Jesus died for us and rose again…His ultimate love was expressed and shown for mankind! And THAT IS what we all need most: JESUS!)

I invite you to listen to this song packed with a powerful message of love for one another. Christmas time has beautiful packages, lit-up Christmas trees, colorful ornaments, fun traditions, events and parties, and so much more. But please, don’t forget about God’s love, our love for God, and our love for each other. Please don’t get so busy, that you forget about Christ this Christmas. Love Him, and love others. And remember that God first loved us.

We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
1 John 4:21

  • Do you know someone who’s hurting this season who needs more love?
  • Do you need to forgive someone who has hurt you?
  • Do you need to cook a meal for a family; or get a group together to go sing Christmas carols at the home of a friend or family who needs some extra love?

God expressed His love by sending His Son. How are you to show love this Christmas season or any day of the year? Listen to this song, and let it touch your heart in the way it needs to.

This little boy brought shoes—what will you bring to someone? How will you express love?

If you have the opportunity, go to youtube.com and listen to “The Christmas Shoes” written by Eddie Carswell and Leonard Ahlstrom ~ sung by NewSong.

Dear Lord,

Let us be mindful of Your great love sent in a precious baby Boy one starry night in Bethlehem. Let us be so changed by the power of Your love that we choose to love others in the ways You bring to our hearts and minds to do so. Let each new day be an opportunity to praise You more and to love others better than we have.

In Jesus’ precious Name I pray, amen.