By Kelly Wright
Christmas is the celebration of the greatest gift ever given, the gift of Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God gave us this gift of Jesus because He loves us and when we receive this gift, we become a child of God.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13
I am in awe of God’s adoption of us. It would have been more than enough for God to send Jesus to die for our sins, to even be called a friend of God, or a servant of God, but when we receive Jesus, we become children of God.
See the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
I love this verse for so many reasons. First, John encourages us to see, to look around and see the evidence of God’s love all around you. I encourage you today and this week to consider for a moment (try 30 seconds) the evidence around you that God loves you. Look around and see!
John goes on to say, “See the love the Father has lavished on us.” Take in this phrase -lavish love. I heard it described as abundantly wasteful, a love that goes on and on and on. Not the spoiling kind of love, but a love where we can never be separated from it.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39
God’s love is abundant and goes beyond what we could ever imagine. Nothing can ever separate us from His love and His love is lavish.
John goes on to say, “See the love the father has lavished on us that we should be called ‘Children of God’ and that is what we are!” Out of His love, God has named us His children us and we are co-heirs with Jesus.
I love that John calls us children of God and adult children of God. As His children, we don’t have to be the adult in our relationship with Him. He is always the parent, and we are always the children. This doesn’t mean we are to be immature, but to depend on Him in everything.
We must remember that when we were children, we trusted our parents to care for us and take care of us. When we were children, we asked permission before we did things. When we were children, we obeyed our parents.
We need to remember that we are always the children and God is always the parent.
Where is God inviting you to be His child? Do you need to depend on Him and cast all your worries on Him? Do you need to consult with Him before acting on things? Do you need to follow Him and obey Him?
As we receive the gift of Jesus and God’s love is poured into our lives, we in turn love others.
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
God’s love fills you and then out of God’s love, you love others.
Who do you know that needs an extra measure of love this Christmas season?
God invites us to look at others and love them. It could be a prayer, a card, a text, a phone call; asking someone to lunch or coffee; acknowledging that it’s been a difficult year. Loving others can be out of our comfort zone, but this is where we love others, not on our own terms or our own strength, but allowing God to love through us.
Consider these three steps:
1. Receive the gift of God’s love. Let your heart be open to the gift of Jesus. Don’t put Jesus away with your Christmas decorations until next year.
2. Ask God to give you eyes to see someone who needs an extra measure of love.
3. Take a step to love those God shows you to love. You will have no idea how much your small act of love can make all the difference to someone who is hurting.