I’m sitting here writing, looking at one of my favorite sights… our Christmas tree. This time of year is so precious and special for so many reasons. There’s something intangible about it. Many try to explain it away with twinkling lights, shimmering paper and festive gatherings, but those of us who know, I mean really know, why we celebrate this season can have no doubt
that the reason for the special “magic,” if you will, is that this is when we pause to reflect on the greatest act of love ever known.
Have you ever stopped to think about what is must have been like in heaven that day? We often think about the Hallelujah Chorus, the rejoicing and the excitement and the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest!” And while they certainly did do that and there was plenty of excitement about it, do we realize what really took place?
God looked at his son and knew it was time. The time that they had planned for from the very beginning. The time when His only Son would humble Himself beyond measure. Jesus, being in all ways God, got up from His throne and came down to a fallen world where He would suffer and die. The One who would never sin was going to willing take on the sins of the entire world, yours and mine. Every evil thing ever done and yet to be done. He would take those sins on Himself and suffer our punishment so that our debt could be paid.
Why did He do this? Why did God send His precious Son for sinners? Why did Jesus step out of Glory, become the baby of a poor Carpenter and a teenage mom, and give His life for people who spat in His face? As the Scripture says, it was because of and in order to satisfy the great and intense love with which He loved us. I don’t know about you, but that makes me pause. It takes my breath away, and it brings tears to my eyes.
We know that God is love (1 John 4:8). First Corinthians chapter 13 is known as the love chapter. It gives us such an incredible description of what true love really is. In John 13:34-35 Jesus told us the same way He has loved us, which is perfect, is the way that we should love each other. We are supposed to love people the same way that Jesus loved us!
And how did Jesus love us? With a perfect love – a love that casts out all fear, a love that does not seek its own, a love that is not easily offended, a love that believes the best of others and keeps no record of wrong, a love that believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Wow…
If this is the description of love, and God is love, then this chapter is telling us who our God is.
I honestly don’t even know where to go from here… I hope you will take some time and just sit alone with the Lord. Think about what He’s done for you. Share with others what that special feeling really is. It’s the powerful sense of the Almighty God reaching out to a fallen world to satisfy His great love for us…in the midst of our mess!
He did this for every single one of us long before we ever accepted Him. He did this for those who He knew would never accept Him. When Jesus was born in that stable it set into motion the greatest act of love ever known on heaven and on earth.
“Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).” Romans 2:3-5
Did you catch the words, “But God”? These words really stirred my spirit one day. If you have never had a “But God” moment in your life, where all that came before no longer matters, I hope this will be the time when you stop and finally accept the love the Father has poured out for you thru the blood of His son Jesus. (For some more about a personal relationship with Jesus check out this post, “Not seeing God work in your life? There may be a very good reason.”)