SUNDAY, December 23
For God so loved the world that He gave! He gave! Listen to those simple words: God gave. And, what He gave astonishes us immeasurably, even as the gift of His Son astonished the ancient world.
In Luke 2:15-20, we read,
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
The Bible offers an incredible explanation of this indescribable gift of God’s love: very rarely will anyone every die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. That seems to be the standard of man’s love: love the lovable, but not the unlovable. However, God’s love is so much different: “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
One of the most basic facts of the Bible is this: God is love. Everything God does, everything God says, everything God plans, and everything God fulfills is motivated by His great love.
So, when we read those familiar words, “for God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,” we realize this truth is significant, deep, and life changing. He loved us when we were unlovable. And He did so not on our merit, but because He is love. For God so loved the world, that He GAVE. He gave His Son. Let’s not become so accustomed to the language of Christmas that we miss the depth of that simple statement: “HE GAVE.” The night Jesus was born, perfect love became real and visible in human form. And the world has never been the same.
God is love, and He made the perfect way for us to know His love: through faith in Jesus Christ you can have a relationship with God today, and you can personally know His love. If your faith is in Jesus, then you have the privilege to live loved.
What an amazing love! Looking in the face of the Christ child, looking at the cross, looking to God’s throne where Jesus now reigns all points to this one amazing truth: God loves you. Today, let’s live astonished by His love.
Luke 2:15-20; Romans 5:8