Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ready, Set, Love!

(Submitted by Kerry Patton)

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God.  The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him.  In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:7-11.

This past Sunday the advent candle was for love.  This time of the year we are so busy and our calendars are so full that often we neglect the people in our lives.  We can also become grumpy and irritated with all the hustle and bustle, crowds and crazy shoppers.  We can become consumed with making Christmas “perfect” or buying the “perfect” gift that we snap and growl at those around us.  Jesus did give us a simple command in I John 4:7-11 but it is complex to carry out at times. 

Love one another.  How simple could instructions be?  “Here.  This is what I want you to do.  Go love one another.  Ready…go!”  Yet, because of our humanity, loving one another can seem so very difficult.  The circumstances of living, coping with other people’s personalities, dealing with their decisions, their fractures and flaws, reacting to their own behavior…each of these can make loving as God loves very difficult.

Yet in truth, that is exactly what God has done for us.  He didn’t wait for us to change or get our lives in order before he loved us.  Romans 5:8 says that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  While we were yet sinners.  Let that soak in for a moment.

Your sin.  My sin.  The sins of all of humanity.  Our heavenly Father took all of it into consideration; and yet his love for us all was so powerful that he looked passed our unworthiness, and gave his only begotten son Jesus anyway.

We are challenged to love…love with God’s love.  Whomever life brings across our path, find a way to love them, because God loved us.  And God loves them.  In loving others, the love of God is revealed in us; and the purpose of God giving his son for us is realized.

This Christmas season I challenge you to love not only those special people in your life but to love the unlovable as well.  Remember that God loves us when we are unlovable, and He sent His son into this world so many Christmases ago, born as a tiny baby, to die one day for our sins, because God loved us.  Spread His love, obey His command.  


Almighty God, and Father of our Lord Jesus.  Use our lives to put your love into action this day, and every day.  Keep the love and example of our Lord in front of all we do, of all our reactions, and guiding our actions.  Keep us doing – love… in all we do.  Don’t let presents, and shopping, and the pressure of purchasing happiness and acceptance become the limits of love this season.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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