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.
What means “love” to you? Dr. Gary Chapman created the “Five Love Languages,” which is designed to help husbands and wives identify the way their spouse feels “loved.” For some, it is in gifts, others find love in touch, or words or time, or acts of service. Every person expresses and receives love in their own unique way. However, there is one kind of love that is universally needed, but can only be given by one Person – it is the merciful love of God.
God created man for relationship, for intimate fellowship and communion; but sin broke that intimacy and strained the relationship – we are always God’s beloved creation, but now we are a distant from God, for His holiness cannot reside with sin. This would never do, for God is love just as He is holy. He continues to love His creation, but it is a love that sees man as the piteous creatures we are, lost and unaware of this great love that we have forfeited.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8-emphasis added). You see God, our Creator, loves us, even when we are at our worst. He does not ask us to clean up our act and then come to Him, but He reaches out His hand to us in the pit of our sin and offers to cleanse us and set us free.
In his writings, Paul lists the sinful behaviors that marks the unregenerate man, and all people are sinful, as Romans 3:23 says: “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (emphasis added). But hear with your heart the blessed words of Titus 3:4-5 “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us…according to His mercy.”
Mercy is the truest evidence of God’s great love. His love could not leave us in our sinful state, destined for eternal death and separation from Him. His holiness demanded justice for the offense of our sin, but His love – – His love necessitated mercy. And the two most prevalent forces of His nature – holiness and love – came together in Jesus Christ.
“Love covers over all sins” ( Proverbs 10:12 NKJV).
Holy, loving, merciful Father in heaven, when Jesus came as a baby, Your love was encased in tiny fingers and toes. Thank You for giving Your love so freely. I pray I will be a conduit of Your love at Christmas, and every day of my life. Amen