Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God is love! -- Merry Christmas!

This is the rough draft for a talk I gave at my church's women's Christmas brunch....

Merry Christmas!
We are coming together today to celebrate one of the most important holidays in the year.

I brought a prop. This is my son, Logan. He is 1 month and 1 day old. I love him. I am so pleased with him. He is so cute, you should pay attention to him. Or should I say, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" Matthew 17:5. God loved his son so much more than I love my own.

I am not one taken to an overpowering, immediate love for my children when they are born. It may be different for other women, but I begin loving my child the minute it becomes a part of me and this love grows over time. The Bible says "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2) God is love. 1 John 4:16 Any inkling of love that I feel for my children, pales in comparison to the love God has for his son. Yet, as much as God loved Jesus, he gave him up for us. Because he loved us. (For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[a] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16)
God could have sent Jesus as an adult with a flaming sword and a host of heavenly warriors behind him. He could have sent him as a child to the most well-to-do family in the world. Arrayed him in splendor and given him worldly wealth. But The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14) God came to live among us, not above us. He came for me, a sinner. And how do you reach a sinner? You love them.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent,[c] nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. John 1:12-13

I love that every year I read the Christmas story, I find some new detail that evidences God's love....and divinity. This year it had to do with Mary. Mary and Joseph were betrothed -- It's in between engaged and married. Even though they weren't married, yet, the only way they could break off their relationship once they were engaged was to get divorced. Let's see if I can explain how perfectly God provided for this little family. Mary became pregnant while she was still a virgin. God could have sent Jesus before Joseph had ever even heard of Mary. Sure, she would have been a single mom, but maybe she would just raise Jesus in the home of her parents. Or what if she and Joseph were already married with three children? Then the prophecy would not have been fulfilled (Therefore the Lord himself will give you [a] a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and [b] will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14)

Now what do we do with this?? God is love. He loves His children. and any of us who believe that Jesus is God's son, that he came to save us, we get to be called children of God as well.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19. God calls his children to walk in love. A pharisee asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is and Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:37-40
This Christmas season, walk in love (2 John 1:6) for this is the true reason we have Christmas. It was God's greatest gift to us and it can be the greatest gift we give to others.

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