Monday, December 16, 2013

The Costly Gift

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  1John 3.16


 Can you imagine what it must have been like for God the Father to see His ONLY Son as a tiny helpless baby in a feeding trough!  To be separated from Him in a way He had never been before.  The communion of the God head was altered for a moment in time.


What love there must be in the heart of the Father to choose this separation!


But this was only the beginning, in just a few short years the Father would experience complete and utter separation as He turned His face away from His dying Son.


See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  (1John 3.1)


This great elaborate love plan was all for us!  So that we might be His. 


Children of the King!  Heirs of the Kingdom!  Hidden with Christ in God!  (Colossians 3.3-4)


So why as God’s children do we struggle to love each other?  Why are we so unwilling to lay down our desires, our plans, and our wants for our fellow Christians.  Why are we so often self-focused, petty and unforgiving?


Jesus set the example.  He refused to hold onto His equality with God the Father.  He was humble, servant-minded and willingly gave up His divine privileges. 


When we hold onto wrongs done to us, refuse to forgive and live as though it’s all about us, we cheapen the gift.  We denigrate the sacrifice.  We belittle the price that was paid for us.
As we welcome family and friends into our home this Christmas Season, let us love like Jesus loves.  Do you have a mother-in-law who is difficult to love, a daughter's boyfriend that get's on your nerves or a spouse that is running roughshod over you? 
Let us cast off our pride and pick up the mantle of love and grace, especially for those around us who are hard to love.  That's what Jesus did for us!  How can we do anything less?


Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  John 4.11


Lord, I confess that it is easy to say I love You and then turn around and mistreat my brother or sister in Christ. It’s not what I say but what I do that proves my love for You.  Forgive my self-centeredness, my penchant to hold onto wrongs done to me.  Give me a heart of forgiveness and love.  May what I say and the way I live be a true reflection of You.  Amen.

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