Love – the Reason for the Season

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4: 8 – 11

Happy Birthday, Bob! How happy he is that it is warm enough today to be on the golf course! But the real celebration occurred on Friday with the family, and that made the occasion much more special! The boys made their own cards, he got great gifts, we had a nice lunch, Kel made his favorite – her famous pecan pie with whipped cream – and Cole topped it off by playing “Happy Birthday” on the drums as we all sang along.

Nothing brings him greater joy than spending time with his family. From the beginning of our lives together, he has been focused on giving us the best life possible and filling it with smiles, laughter, fun, new experiences, and all the things we needed and those he thought would make us happiest. If anything, I think that desire has increased with the coming of His grandchildren!  How he loves Miles and Cole and enjoys being with them! His family is always on his mind and heart, and all of us are so blessed to have him in our lives!

We love because God first loved us. And what a love He has for us and how much He, too, thinks of us and desires to be near us.

What a reminder of His love and the real meaning of Christmas in this passage from 1 John as we prepare our homes and our hearts for this special time of year. God gave us the ultimate sacrifice and gift of love through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, in a lowly manger on earth. Man had become separated from our perfect God by his sinful nature since his fall in the Garden of Eden, but through the redeeming grace of Christ, God made a way for us to be brought back to Him.

What love He has for us. What a gift of His grace. In Isaiah 7: 14, we learn the child was to be called “Emmanuel”, meaning, “God is with us”.  Jesus is our Emmanuel, our promised Messiah, and He lives in us through His Spirit. What a beautiful and comforting thought,”God is with us“. What glorious news we have to celebrate and to share, as we prepare for the time of His birth.

What a beautiful Christmas season this can be as we keep this thought on our minds and in our hearts – God loves us so much that He wants us to be with Him now and forevermore. He wants to keep us in His loving care and to fill our hearts with His loving peace and presence. And because of His great love for us, He wants the gift of His love to flow out in abundance to those around us.

May this truly be a season of love, and one filled with warmth, kindness, and a heart for giving of ourselves. May we make Jesus Christ and His love the focus of our hearts. For He is our gift of love and the “reason for the season”. May the true spirit of Christmas in our hearts be full of the joy of His presence and the light of His love.

Prayer

Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for loving us so much that you would send your Son into the world to bring us near to you. We thank you for the grace to know you, to learn from your Word, and to share your love with the world. May our hearts be filled with the beauty, love, and joy of this Christmas season. Amen

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