Monday, November 30, 2020
Thanksgiving is under the belt, or in my case, under the stretch waistband jeans with no belt. The nine-day Wisconsin gun deer hunting season is over with varied success. Black Friday deals are packed away for Christmas giving and the next wave of exciting deals is here on Cyber Monday. The commercialization of Christmas is in full swing. It’s the way we have learned to communicate love.
When God chose to communicate love, He gave Himself. He had given many gifts to mankind in the first four-thousand years of human history, but when God wanted to show the fullness of His love to the world and meet our greatest need, He gave Himself.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Of course, other gifts also come from God, but they cannot be realized without God. How foolish we would be to attempt to buy all the latest and greatest accessories that come with a new car without actually purchasing the car. That may sound like a dumb analogy, but think about it. How many times do we demand from God the things that God has promised without any intention of receiving the gift of God Himself? God has promised that peace and joy are fully available to us, but not separate from Him. There is no peace without the presence of the Giver of peace. There is no joy apart from the Savior. None of the other “gifts” that come from God are of significance unless they are the result of receiving the one true gift of Love – God Himself.
God gave us Himself when He gave us Jesus.
John 1:1,14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 1:1-3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might 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 propitiation for our sins.
Love is communicated best when the only thing given is full access to who you are. It is only then that the benefits of relationship can be truly experienced. That is how God loves us. That is how we are to love others.
1 John 4:11-12 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
Beloved, commercialization does not communicate love. Christ alone is the ultimate communication of love. And if Christ’s love has captured your heart, then you can communicate love as God did – by giving yourself to others.