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Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Week 2- LOVE

"Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign."
Christina Rossetti
 
My focus this second week of Advent is the LOVE of God that came down at Christmas when Jesus was born.
 
Jesus was and is the perfect display of God's love. God is love, true love, and sending His Son to earth, for us, is a perfect picture of His unending love for us. One of my favorite passages of scripture is Zephaniah 3:17. I can feel God's love instantly wash over me as I read it.
 
"The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing."

Wow! The God of the universe rejoices over me, loves me and exults over me with singing! What a beautiful picture. But, what's even better is the fact that the LORD our God is in our midst. When the angel visited Joseph and explained to him the awesome blessing Mary would bear, he told Joseph the name of the child was to be not only Jesus but Emmanuel, God with us. 

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
 

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
  and they shall call his name Immanuel”
 (which means, God with us)."
(Matthew 1:18-23 ESV)


Jesus who was with God, ruling and reigning with Him in heaven, humbled himself and became a baby so that he could be "God with us" and ultimately save us from our sins by his death on the cross. Wow, what love! That is perfect love.

"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

Last week I mentioned that every time I turned on my Christmas lights I prayed I would remember that Jesus is the LIGHT of the world. This week, as I look at the baby Jesus in my nativity set; I pray that I would remember that "love came down at Christmas". But not only that, I pray that this Christmas season I would remember the words of the Apostle John in 1John 3:16, "By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers."
 
What am I doing, right now, to lay down my life for my brothers? How am I investing my time and my resources in my family, my friends, my neighbors, etc. in a way that displays the love of Christ that God has so richly allowed me to receive?
 
"We love because he first loved us." (1John 4:19 ESV)

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