The Greatest Gift of All – Week 4 – Jesus is Love (Christmas Eve)

December 24, 2016

The Greatest Gift of All – Week 4 – Jesus is Love (Christmas Eve)

The Greatest Gift of All – Week 4 – Jesus is Love (Christmas Eve)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
If you do an internet search for “What is love,” your results will be filled with all kinds of philosophical pondering. You’ll read statements that sound profound, but ultimately have no meaning. Everyone has an opinion about love, from actors to authors, from scientists to scholars.
Currently, a lot of research is going into trying to understand how the brain creates feelings of emotion. Scientists are trying to see what chemical and neurological interactions create the emotion we call love. Their goal is to try and remove the mystery of love and show that it’s nothing more than an evolved neurological response to a specific set of external observations. Their view of love will make marriage proposals just a little less romantic, “My neurons consistently fire when I’m around you, therefore it seems logical that I should spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” That doesn’t sound like love, does it?  When left to ourselves, humans will come up with all kinds of definitions of love: scientific ones, selfish ones, and philosophical ones. But, in Christ, God has shown us what love is.
1 John 4:9 says “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” The love of God was shown to us by sending Jesus to dwell among us. And, he did this not in response to our great love for him, but simply because he is love. Romans 5:10 says that God did this even while we were his enemies.
Jesus sacrificed the comfort and position in heaven and became the lowest of men in this world.  Think about the sacrifice he made.  He was exalted above all.  He was worshiped in heaven by the angels. He was in complete unity with the Godhead.  He had never experienced pain, hunger, or loss.  But he made Himself flesh. And because the servant of us His creation.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death even death on a cross!
God defines love for us. 1 John 4:11 says that if God loves us this way then we ought to love one another in the same way. Therefore, love is more than an neurological evolutionary response that just happens based on certain circumstances. When we are called to love our enemy or love those who don’t love us or love the unlovely, we’re not acting on chemical reactions; we’re demonstrating the love God has already shown us in Christ. When Christ arrived as a baby, God showed us what sacrificial love really is. He showed us that love is more than just an emotional response; it’s a willingness to love those who don’t deserve to be loved
“‘I will tend My flock and let them lie down.’ [This is] the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice.'” —Ezekiel 34:15-16

 

“For the Lord will not reject [us] forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind.”Lamentations 3:31-33

 

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:1-12
Amazingly, you are God’s treasure and if you follow Him, He will be yours.
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). No doubt you’ve already heard the familiar words of “O Holy Night” this year. Don’t miss the truth of the final verse: Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.
 
If you want to know how to love one another, look at the love that sent Jesus to earth to live a life of love and pay the price for all of our sins. It’s all about love. This isn’t a love of fancy words and impossible tasks. This is a love that says, “I am willing to love you no matter what.”
We can love because He first loved us.
Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.