I would like to tell you the story, if you would indulge me. I once was lost but now I have been found. Yea, I know you have heard that before. But in my case it is really what happened! The puzzling thing is that for many years I didn’t know, and I had no idea that I was lost. I was like the proverbial pig in the pig pen who wallows happily in the mud not knowing being clean is even a possibility. I was happy to live as if God didn’t exist and didn’t love me. I was “happy” with my circle of friends who lived for sports and getting wasted on drugs and alcohol.
I knew of the story of Christmas but didn’t really think too much about it. I never stopped long enough to realize that Jesus Chrust voluntarily stepped out of heaven to become a baby and eventually die at the hands of those he had created. I was unaware of such humiliation and the love that motivated him to take such a step. I had never taken into consideration these words,
“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)
Now when I celebrate Christmas I cannot but help think of these words. Jesus voluntarily left heaven to become the sacrifice for my sin! Those words continue to rock my world! Love came down to earth so that I could realize why God had placed me on the planet! I could only find purpose and significance in life through understanding the ramifications of Christmas.
Our celebration of the birth of Jesus is one of love. One of the well known verses of the Bible is John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
You and I are loved more than we could ever imagine! My story is that once I discovered God’s love I have never been the same since. Oh, yes, there have been times that I have been tempted to turn my back on God’s love. But I have learned that there is nothing the world has that is worth as much as the freedom and joy God has gifted me when love came down! Absolutely nothing!
As you celebrate Christmas this year, yes please enjoy time with your family. By all means taste with delight the delicious food that you will partake of. Celebrate with your loved one the exchange of gifts! But please make Jesus the honoured guest, give him his rightful place at the head of the table and the rightful heir of the centre of your heart!
Thank you for taking the time to read! Please share if this has been helpful to you!
Pastor Bill Finch
To this day I am surprised by it. Are you? It is the one thing that you and I have the greatest need for but we look for it in all the wrong places. We were born with the innate desire to be loved. It absolutely shocks me what people will do to get it.
When you think of the word, “love”, what pops into your mind? I remember the Disney movie “The Lady and the Tramp” when they are given a plate of spaghetti and they end up sucking on the same strand. We go, “ah” isn’t that cute! We fall into the trap of thinking now that’s love. If you watch television at all you will be quick to realize that love is often a synonym for sex, they are used interchangeably to such an extent that one cannot tell the difference between them.
People have a hard time understanding the true definition of the word, love. You know that by the way people do what they do in order to earn it. A child will go to any length to show their love to their parents. A woman often will stay with an abusive man because of love. We know that is not true ‘love’ but rather a dependence on another for emotional and relational security.
When we come to the Scripture, the picture painted by God takes our breath away. The great overarching story that is presented to us is that man spurned the love of God and preferred to go it his own way. Thinking that he could do better on his own, man determined to build his own utopia apart from God. He sought to find love in things, in himself and in life separated from the Creator. He tried to make a name for himself without taking God into account and ended up with a purposeless life void of meaning and substance.
God’s love brings purpose and meaning to life because He designed to be loved by Him! When we try and stuff our lives with “stuff” we miss the point! God’s love gives us an identity that satisfies the deep longings of our heart. I love literally the truth that First John 3:1 shares with us, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
I don’t know about you, but before God’s love rescued me, I was an absolute nobody! I sought love by trying to please my parents, by trying to gain acceptance into a certain group in high school, and never found it! Never! How often it is then that as a believer in Jesus Christ instead of being satisfied with His love that I have sought that satisfaction in the poor replicas of the love that the world tempts me with? Too often, I must admit.
God’s love has rescued me from sin, it has given me purpose and joy, peace and above all, love. I love those around me with that love with which God has rescued me! Unbelievable!