Wow. The last week of Advent and here we are. Each week during Advent we focus on one of four characteristics of Jesus. Joy, Hope, Peace, and this final week – Love. The Advent season culminates in love because it is His sovereign, all-encompassing love that provides hope, fulfills our longings, and draws us into peace.
Has there ever been something that you love more than anything? Something that you love so much that you would do anything for it? A few weeks ago, one of my pups got sick and I was in a puddle on the floor. I had no idea that I loved Mowgli as much as my heart was telling me I did as I handed him to the vet-tech through the car window. I got a call a few minutes later and the vet was on the phone breaking down the costs for the treatment that would hopefully bring my sweet little Papillon back home and healthy to me. I told her to do anything and everything possible to get him healthy… whatever the cost.
I am in no way trying to trivialize the sacrifice God made when He sent Jesus to save us. However, in some ways… this comparison helps me understand in a very tiny and microscopic way the love that God had for us. All I wanted at that moment the Vet called was to love on my sweet puppy, Mowgli, and bring him home with me – continue our relationship, if you will.
You see that is what God wanted. He wanted a relationship with us so bad, but because we live in sin there was no way He could. We needed the ultimate sacrifice to bridge that deafening gap. That bridge was Jesus. You see, Jesus had to come. He was sent to save and redeem us so that we could have a relationship with God.
1 John 4:9 (NLT) God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.
In order to understand how much God truly loves us, we must first understand why God sent Jesus to Earth. He came to us to draw near to us. His name, “Emmanuel” literally means God with us.
He had friends and family, was tempted and beat up, He faced unspeakable opposition, and the best part – He didn’t have to. He could have stayed in Heaven, but he desired a relationship with us. He wanted us to know that no matter what life looks like, He has been there and done that and He is with us through all of it.
God sacrificed His Son… for us. He sent Jesus to die knowing that Jesus would conquer death 3 days later. Because of that sacrifice we are able to not only commune with God, but we are invited to receive His love constantly.
That means that we get to live life knowing that God has a bigger plan than our current circumstances and that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:37-39).
I mean come on, it’s super easy to go through some of our circumstances in life and feel like God could not be further from our situation. Like He has separated from us and we are slipping away. When we question where God is in our circumstances, I truly believe that we lose sight of how BIG our God is.
God’s love give us hope. God’s love gives us peace that’s unexplainable. Even if you don’t feel like it, or maybe you don’t think it’s true in a particular moment.
You see God is L-O-V-E and there is not a single thing that can separate us from His unending love. No matter how deep we probe into the motives of God, we will never arrive at a layer which is not Love.
Knowing that we can have confidence and proclaim the hope that Jesus revealed that night in Bethlehem.
Have confidence my friend. Jesus is coming. No one was expecting Him to come as a baby, and in a manger no less. Don’t be surprised when Jesus shows up in your life differently than you expected. That’s literally is M.O.