“O God, we meditate on Your unfailing love.” Psalm 48:9
Today is Christmas Eve, and this marks the end of the Advent season. This is also the last in this Advent devotional series, and I pray that you have been blessed, enriched and encouraged by focusing on God’s gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. It has been my delight and privilege to share the Word of God and my own thoughts with you through these devotionals.
As our key verse says, today we are going to “meditate on [God’s] unfailing love.” Yesterday we looked at the permanent and eternal aspect of God’s love. Today we are going to consider exactly how we can recognize God’s love to us. Of course, as we noted on the first day of this Advent week of Love, Jesus Christ is the ultimate evidence, the cross the ultimate symbol of God’s love.
One of the best passages for understanding God’s love is Paul’s writings in 1 Corinthians 13, “The Love Chapter.” It is a great reminder of how we can show love to others, but I like to look at it as a powerful expression of God’s love to me and you. May I ask you to take a few minutes to read 1 Corinthians 13 before we proceed?
The first thing that I see is that God is the perfect expression of love. He speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit, He is omniscient, which means He has perfect knowledge; and as for faith, well He knows who He is and what He can do. He gave everything to His poor and helpless creation, including the life of His Son – but all of these He did out of His great love for us.
God’s love is patient and kind- Romans 2:4 tells us that “the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience…leads you toward repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 says “He is patient…not wanting anyone to perish to everyone to come to repentance.” God so greatly desires to bring every person to Himself, and He give us chance after chance after chance to do so.
God’s love is not boastful or proud, but is best shown in the humility of Christ – Philippians 2:7 & 8 says “He made Himself nothing…He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross.” Christ humbled Himself, allowing Himself to be humiliated for your sake and mine, and for the sake soldiers who held the hammer and nails-because of His love.
God’s love is gracious (being not rude), and certainly not self-seeking, as Christ sought to save you and me at the cost of His own life.
God’s love is not easily angered, as He declared to Moses: “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
Oh how glad I am that God “keeps no record of wrong.” The blood of Jesus wipes away our sins and we stand before God cleared, declared innocent – forgiven.
God is perfect holiness and there is no evil in Him, and so we know that we can trust Him to always act from His loving and good nature.
God is truth, and Hebrews 6:18 tells us “it is impossible for God to lie.” This tells me that when the Bible says God loves me, I can know without a shadow of doubt that it is the truth, no matter what my feelings or the world may say. God’s love is always true.
God’s love protects us – after all He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14), and we are His sheep; and the shepherd’s first priority is the safety and security of His flock.
God’s love for us means we can trust Him, we can relax our anxious hearts and minds knowing that He is always for us, always working for good in our lives, always aware of every need and situation we face, and always prepared with the best solution.
God’s love gives us hope, an anticipation and expectation that He will fulfill every promise He has ever made.
God’s love perseveres with us, which circles back around to His patience. Yet, while He is patient with us to come to repentance, He perseveres with us as we grow in wisdom and understanding and maturity. He doesn’t give us on His children when we repeatedly fail. His love means He will pick us up, tend the wounds we caused to ourselves, draw us into His strong embrace and encourage us to try again. And again. And again. I am so grateful that God has never given up on me, and never will.
And finally, God’s love will never fail. Because God will never fail. His love is powerful, stronger than our sin, stronger than our doubts, stronger than everything Satan and this world can throw at us. God’s love has already won. His love has defeated death and has brought life and light and hope, peace, and joy to all who will believe and receive Jesus Christ.
Today, on this Christmas Eve, meditate on God’s wonderful, all-consuming and perfect love for you, His child. Allow His love to wrap around you like a warm embrace. Let His love quiet your mind and fill your heart this Christmas – and carry it with you into the new year.
God bless you my friends – and Merry Christmas.
God of Love, words fail me when I ponder how very much You love me. Your love is perfect, and is perfectly expressed in the birth of Your Son Jesus, the ultimate Christmas gift. Such love – such wonderful, amazing love. Amen.