East Martin CRC
Verse 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This is a verse that is one of the most known verses, even among non-believers. But taken by itself, we miss one of the sweetest messages of the Bible. A message that ties the bow between the birth of a small babe in Bethlehem and a Jewish rabbi hung on a Roman cross.
This verse speaks of the greatest love that could ever exist on earth because it originated in heaven. This Son that was sent to earth was not as the Jewish people had hoped and expected. They had thought He would come to conquer and judge the enemies of God’s people. God’s plan was much better than that as He knew that an earthly military victory would only last for a period of time. The Jews had a desire that would save them as a people while God’s plan included those who were not of Jewish blood. In fact God’s plan excluded some of the very people the Jews felt would be saved by the Messiah.
Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world as the religious people thought but instead came to reveal God to those who believed in Him. He came as the Light to expose and drive out the darkness from His people. His coming illuminated the truth of God’s laws and how they were to be obeyed. Only a perfect sacrifice would suffice for sin offerings and so only the perfect life lived by God’s Son would qualify for the sacrifice that would save God’s elect from eternal punishment.
This is the true gift of Christmas, God’s love for His created people. A love so grand that He sent His only Son to shed the blood of God Himself for the sins of all people of all times. But not everyone wants this gift. There are those in every age through time that reject the love of the Creator and refuse to believe the truth of who Jesus is. They desire evil instead of God. They choose darkness instead of light.
Living in the Light of Jesus will be noticeable to those we come into contact with. Believing in Him allows His light to shine through us. This light is love. God loved us and if we believe in Him we will love too. We will love others because of our love for Him. And Jesus said that the world would know we are His followers by our love for each other (John 13:35). We have the gift of an eternal lifetime, do those around us know it?
Making It Personal
What has believing the truth of who Jesus is changed your life? Is this gift of love evident in your life? Who needs to have this gift shared with them today?
Making It Personal Kids
How much did God love you to send Jesus to earth? Why is it important to know that Jesus is a gift of God’s love? Do you have a friend that needs to know about Jesus?
Father, we can’t thank You enough for Your gift of love. Thank You for wanting to use us to show others Your gift of love through Jesus. Help us know how to live out the love of Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.