If you have been with me for the last three days, I have been sharing about the simplicity of Christmas love. This love story has taken us to creation, to places then and now and to our relationships with people. What’s left – God’s promises, as we see His love come to life in the promises for us in His Word.
Psalm 145:13 says, “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.”
Read the last part again: “The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.”
I Corinthians 1:20-22–20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. (It all happens because of Jesus!) And so, through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22 set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing (or promising) what is to come.
We can have hope today, because of the promise of what is to come in this love story. God sent His Son to be fully man and fully God, so that we might know Him and have a relationship with Him.
In Genesis 12, God promised to make a great nation out of Abraham; to bless those who blessed Him and curse those cursed Him; to bless all people on the planet through Him and His offspring. When Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, she recognized that this was the moment God was making good on His promise to Abraham—not only to the Jewish people, but to all people. Through her Son, Jesus, God finally fulfilled this promise. In Luke 1:54-55 as part of Mary’s song (called “the Magnificat”) She says this: “He (God) has helped His servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as He promised our ancestors.”
Because God is a never-forgetting, always promise-keeping God, we have forgiveness from sins, release from shame and guilt, and all the blessings of this life and the next. There are so many verses in Scripture that tell us of all God promises to us, His children. This great love story is still being told, for we wait for the Prince of Peace to return for us to complete our final salvation. We can trust God’s promises, even today!
In 2006 I had brain surgery that did not go well. There were complications, and I ended up having 4 surgeries in just 6 weeks, spent a total of 9 weeks in the hospital, (through all of the holidays too! – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) much of that time in the ICU, and in a lot of pain, with life-threatening events taking place. During that time, my husband and I had a long discussion about how we felt about what was going on, and did we trust God with the results. We came to the conclusion that God was faithful to us – and had been throughout our lives so far, and whether I lived or died, God would still be Lord of our lives. His promises gave us hope, whatever the outcome.
You may not see God’s promises coming to fruition in your life right now. Things may be difficult, and circumstances hard. But God does see you and know you, and has promised to bring you through this tough time. It may not look like you expect it to, but neither was the birth of the Messiah what people expected. This Christmas, put your hope in God’s promise of salvation – of the eternal life you will have with Him, as an heir of His Kingdom promises. He is with you right now, and will continue to be with you as you live out your life.
So, the simplicity of Christmas love comes to us in a love story from before time. It was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus, and then in the ultimate act of sacrificial love, taken to the cross for us. It continues as we wait for Him to return!
This Advent, be glad as you see His love in creation. Gaze into the sky and experience His presence in nature. Then, see His love displayed all around you, with your heart decorated with His love and grace, as you enjoy the places He has given you to live. See His love in your relationships as you look at the people in your life and reach out to the people around you, to offer an encouraging word, a smile to a stranger, and forgiveness as much as you are able. Ultimately, put your hope in God’s promises. They are trustworthy and dependable. See His love for you as you remember the promises from His Word. If you have not experienced God’s love and salvation before today, it is not too late. You can put your faith in Jesus just by asking Him to be Lord of your life today, recognizing that He is the only one who deserves God’s favor, but His death paid the price for all we have done wrong, and we can be heirs of His promises – getting all the benefits of eternal life with Him in return! A great deal for all of us, for no one is without flaws.
For all of us this day, I want to share the words from this Christmas song by Charles Wesley:
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free. From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s Strength and Consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art; Dear Desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.”
“The Simplicity of Christmas Love” is here right now, and this love story is one that we can pass on and celebrate with gladness today, and in all our days to come. See it in creation, in your places, through people and in God’s promises to you today. Be glad, and ravished with wonder this Christmas, my friends! Merry Christmas to you all!