Love – the Greatest Gift!

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There is so much about Jesus’ coming to earth that we can celebrate – it is the greatest gift, given to the greatest number of people, by the greatest Giver, moved by the greatest love ever known. As Fredrick Lehman wrote in his timeless hymn in 1917, there is no way that words can describe the love of God:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

The Love of God is truly a gift that keeps on giving; from the day that He wooed us away from the world to the day that we will breathe our last, we draw strength from the knowledge that the Creator of all things loves us. His love is the power that keeps us, the strength that moves us forward, and the anchor that holds in the storms of life.

Contrary to human love, God’s love is without condition. He loves us because He is love, and cannot deny Himself. Our failings and missteps don’t diminish God’s love for us, and that is our security as we walk through the minefield of temptations, the filth of the world, and the mistakes that we make. Where would we be without the love of God?

Not only did God reach out to us in love while we were running away from Him, He poured His own unconditional love out into our hearts so that we may share it, unconditionally as it is, to the unloveable in our sphere. Everybody needs love – and responds to it – if it is genuine. Few things give hope to the hopeless as love extended can.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The God-kind of love, poured out in our hearts, enables us to love with His love! No wonder it is the first fruit of a Spirit-filled life!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22

You cannot have joy or peace without love; you cannot be patient (longsuffering), kind, flow in goodness, be faithful, be gentle, or exercise self-control, if it is not fuelled by the love of God. While you can do it in your own strength under ideal circumstances, it requires the love of God to display these traits when things don’t go your way. The love of God is the oil that keeps your lamp burning on your darkest day.

God didn’t have less love when He poured it out in our hearts – He multiplied it!

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

God gave His Son to us, then Jesus gave His life for us – all because of love. Now it is our turn to give ourselves, because love compels us. When we give, we receive.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Love shines like a lighthouse in a world filled with hatred. Anybody can hate, but it takes a life surrendered to Christ to truly love, for love is the trademark of the new creation man and woman.

The tremendous power of faith that has the potential to move mountains, even if as small as a mustard seed, is powered by love. (Galatians 5:6) Love never fails, and is greater than hope and faith.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

When you received Jesus into your life, you also received His love because He cannot be separated from it. He made that deposit in our lives, now we have to grow it by giving it away. This is the true spirit of His coming. Merry Christmas everybody!

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