Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: LOVE is the Heart of Christmas! (LISTEN HERE)
3 days until Christmas and Happy Birthday to my mom!
Still on the quest for the perfect gift?
Time is running short…but don’t give up!
The insight today about the perfect gift might be a little controversial. Some really like sentimental gifts and they don’t have to have really any use other than they sit on a shelf and remind the person of the one who gave the gift.
However, some people like practical gifts, gifts that have some sort of use. (Note: I am not encouraging husbands to give their wives a kitchen appliance…however, wives, if you get your husband a tool for their shop…that’s ok.)
While a perfect gift doesn’t have to be practical, perhaps the person to whom you are giving a gift would enjoy a gift that has a very practical use to it.
The PERFECT gift of God’s love is very practical. In fact, God didn’t just give us his love in the manger of Bethlehem to keep to ourselves. He desires that once we receive his love we put it into practice and share it.
The Apostle John understood God’s love and the impact of putting that love into practice.
1 John 4:7-12 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
The practical impact of God giving us his love in the person and work of Jesus Christ is a) “that we might live through him.” God’s love is not just an emotional feeling (while it does create that feeling) but it has a use for us personally: to secure eternal life with the Father in heaven. As Jesus grew up, lived a perfect life and offered his life on the cross, he had the intended result that his life would bring us eternal life…and it does. Secondly, the impact of God giving us his love in the person and work of Jesus Christ is that b) we love others, making God visible to others. God’s love is to be shared with the people around us. While his love is a personal blessing, it is a gift that is to be regifted…over and over again. The impact of us showing the love of God to others? Others see and experience the love of God through us. In fact, God’s love is not complete in us until we love others. In essence God is reminding us that if we don’t see the practical importance and real impact of his love, we have lost the significance of his gift of love.
Makes sense, right? If you receive something for Christmas that you a) don’t know what it is and b) don’t know how to use it, you will never receive the blessing of that gift. On the other hand when you know what it is AND use it, you experience the complete blessing of that gift.
So it is with God’s love. It is the perfect gift. It is practical…giving eternal life to you and through you giving God’s love to others.
Apply: Do you like practical gifts? What makes God’s love so practical for you?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for giving to us a gift that brings impact to our lives and eternity and through us to the lives of others. AMEN.