“I will tend My flock and let them lie down.” This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. “I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice.” – Ezekiel 34:15-16 (HCSB)
“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” – Lamentations 3:31-33 (NIV)
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 (HCSB)
He couldn’t do anything for himself. Born with cerebral palsy, he sat in the wheel chair loving every second of the Christmas musical. He faces challenges that I can’t even imagine. His body wrecked by a disease that caused him to be constantly moving. They sat in the back of the auditorium, perhaps wanting not to distract. And sitting next to him was a proud mother, I couldn’t help stealing a glance throughout that evening, to see hear stroking his hair, wiping his mouth, and smiling all the while. She adored him. I whispered under my breath from behind the stage, “That’s it. That’s love.”
I had to meet this amazing mother after the musical. She was a single mom who just moved to Louisiana from Kansas. “How do you do this all by yourself?” I had to ask. “He’s my life. He’s the greatest blessing that ever happened to me.”
This two-person family had an eternal impact on me. I received a glimpse of God’s love for me. Despite my constant battles with the curse of sin and personal rebellion, God loved me like that. Amazingly, you are God’s treasure and if you follow Him, He will be yours.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” – Romans 5:8
No doubt you’ve already heard the familiar words of “O Holy Night.” Don’t miss the truth of the final verse:
Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.
If you want to know how to love one another, look at the love that sent Jesus to the earth to live a life of love and pay the price for all our sins. It’s all about love. This isn’t a love of fancy words and impossible tasks. This is a love that says, “I am willing to love you no matter what.”
We can love because He first loved us.
Share: Share a time in your life when you felt most loved by God.
Encourage: Invite a friend to your church’s Christmas presentation or an upcoming event. Most people become a part of a church when they are invited by a member.
Evaluate: Are you striving to love people the same way Christ loved you?
Pray: Lord, teach us what it means to love each other as you first loved us. Remind us our lives are infinitely connect through the love of Christ. Teach us the language of sacrificial love.
Family Activity: As a family, watch a movie that depicts the life of Christ such as “Jesus of Nazareth,” “The Nativity,” or “The Jesus Movie.” Explain the difference in the fictional tales of Christmas and the true story of Jesus’s birth. If you have teens in the home, you might want to view “The Star of Bethlehem” documentary or “A Case for Christ.” Both present powerful apologetics for the historical Christ.