Good morning everyone,
How much do you spend on someone’s Christmas gift? That depends, doesn’t it? For the person who delivers your newspaper, it might be a $10 gift card for McDonalds. For a husband or wife or child, it could be much more. After all, we know them better. We have a strong bond of love with them. They mean more to us. They’re family. We have good reason to care about them. On the other hand, are you planning to buy a gift of any sort for the person who never has a kind word for you or the couple you’ve never met who live six blocks down the street?
If God were like us, how much would He spend on us? We are not His family by nature, just the opposite. “Like the rest, we were objects of wrath” (Eph. 2:3). We haven’t done a single good thing to win Him over, so that He would want to give us a present. “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Rom. 8:7). Paul admits: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature” (Rom. 7:18). If God were like us, He would have nothing to do with us.
But praise God! He is not like us. Our love is limited and tainted by selfishness, but His love is boundless. Our love looks for a reason to love. God’s love stands by itself. God loves for His love’s sake alone. “God is love!” (1 Jn. 4:8). It’s part of His essence.
In love God promised and sent the greatest Gift. He spared no expense. He gave the Gift beyond price, His only begotten Son. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). While we were still His enemies, Jesus came and sacrificed His life for the sins of all mankind.
That divine Gift dwarfs any gift we might buy or receive. That Gift transforms us from sinners to children of God holy and pleasing through faith in Christ. It’s a Gift to receive with awe-filled thanks and to cherish every day of our lives. It’s a Gift to pass along, not just to family and friends, but to everyone we can. May God’s Gift of love work in us a growing love for Him and for all people.
Tomorrow’s sermon text (Heb. 10:5-10) is a conversation between Jesus and the Father in which the Lord describes His coming into the world many centuries before the first Christmas.
The children will rehearse for Christmas Eve at 9:30 tomorrow and also after lunch. The gift exchange will follow the afternoon practice.
The adult Bible class will meet in the activity room. We’ll begin a Catechism review of the Lord’s Prayer.
See you tomorrow,