“All you need is love (bah-bah-bah-bah-bah), all you need is love…”
This is the second week of Advent and according to my research, the candle that is lit this week is to remind us of “love”.
Did you know that there are different kinds of love? For example, there is brotherly love, parental love, friend love, sexual love and marital love. My Strong’s Concordance lists about 15 different Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words that have been translated as the word “love” in the King James Bible! The word “love” appears 311 times in the KJV and that doesn’t include variations of that word. That’s a whole lotta lovin’ goin’ on!
One kind of love stands above all others, and that is the kind of love that God has for humankind. King David described it as better than life!
Psa 63:3 Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us
1Jn 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God.
Tradition has taught us that God (especially in the Old testament) is an angry, critical, fear-mongering deity. People who think that way do not accurately know God’s word or His character.
Our Heavenly Father is the very essence of love. His very character is love. His Word describes Him as “love”.
1Jn 4:8 The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
God “loves” to “love”:
Jer 9:24 but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he hath understanding, and knoweth me, that I am Jehovah who exerciseth lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith Jehovah.
God’s love does not wait for us to love Him first:
1Jn 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
God’s love does not depend upon us being “good enough”.
Rom 5:8 But God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
God’s love does not change on a whim (or a hormone swing!).
Jer 31:3 Jehovah has appeared to me from afar, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.
God’s love can not be earned or bought:
Rom 8:32 Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
1Co 2:12 But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God.
God’s love does not cost us anything, yet it cost Him His son, Jesus:
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.
Jesus, echoing His Father’s love, gave us the highest gift of love, his own life:
Joh 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
(and Jesus laid his life down for his enemies too!)
Love is what Christmas is all about– NOT decorations, turkey dinners, carol singing or presents. Christmas is about God’s great love for us; a love so great, that He would give us His most precious Son. When we accept this wonderful gift of love, we also receive the wondrous gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. God’s gift of love is truly a gift that keeps on giving!(and no credit card interest fees!)
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
My prayer for you is that you “would know and believe the love that God has in you.” (1Jn 4:16)