December 20, 2014

Compelling Love

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 20, 2014

Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince… We are blessed to have Tripp write our fourth and final Advent devotional  today.. Thank the Lord for you, Tripp!

“Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

So begins one of the most enduring hymns of the nineteenth century. These words, simple and childish as they may seem, are in fact the deepest and truest words you could ever utter. Your pursuit of God, your desire to love your family and friends, your quest for wisdom, beauty, and goodness, all of these are built upon one foundational truth: Jesus loves you.

John 3:16 is perhaps the most well-known verse in the entire Bible. You’ve most likely heard it since childhood, seen it on posters at sporting events, and listened to many a sermon based upon it. This verse is commonly linked to the love of God shown upon the cross, and rightly so. It is there that we see the self-sacrifice of God, his willingness to love us even to the point of death (Philippians 2:8).

Yet, we also see the Father’s steadfast love in giving his son in the Incarnation.

As we approach Christmas this week, we must see afresh the Father’s unimaginable love for us in giving his son, the babe in the manger, Christ the Lord. This is the heart of Christmas – beyond the lights, the trees, the parties and presents, we must rejoice and stand in awe of God’s great love for us.

For Christ’s love compels us…that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

When we see the love of God displayed in Jesus, we are compelled to reshape our understanding of love itself. Love is no longer about self-fulfillment or personal pleasure. It is instead our response to God’s love for us. As 1 John 4:19 reminds us, “we love because he first loved us.”

The Father’s love in giving Jesus enables us to love God and compels us to love one another. As Jesus himself commands, “just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). If you find yourself wondering how to faithfully respond to God’s love for you, look no further than your love and care for others.

Are you able to share God’s love in a real and tangible way this season? Perhaps you can give a gift to a needy child. Surprise someone with a Christmas dinner?  Show hospitality by inviting a neighbor into your home? Seek creative and meaningful ways to show your love for God by going out of your way to love others!

This Christmas, as we reflect on the love of God shown to us in Jesus, let us remember to give freely, especially in light of how freely we have received (Matthew 10:8).

Prayer: Father, thank you for your steadfast love shown in Jesus. Help us respond to that love this Christmas by freely loving you and one another.

Related Readings: Exodus 15:13; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalm 25:10; John 14:23; Romans 8:39

Post/Tweet this today: We see our heavenly Father’s steadfast love in giving his son in the Incarnation. #wisdomhunters

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