Luke 2:11-12 -For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” NKJV
In two weeks people all over the world will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. I know there are many who like to think of this time as just a fun holiday, celebrated with gifts, family, food and good times. They want to X Jesus right out of the season. They are more excited about teaching their children about a fairy tale man who will come down the chimney and leave them a bunch of toys. They don’t want to “lie” to their children about a Savior being born, but they will lie about Santa Claus coming to town! The logic of some!
I remember when I first told my mom that I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. She seemed surprised that not only did I not believe in him, but that I didn’t have any desire to participate in the lie of a non-existent man bringing me toys. It hurt her more than it hurt me. He’s my least favorite part of Christmas! But that’s my personal bias!
What makes this season so special, is the Spirit of love! Everything about the birth of Jesus was centered in the love of God for mankind.
John 3:16-17 -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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV
Right here, in this most familiar verse, is the truth of what the Spirit of love is all about. God wrapped Himself in His love, placed His Seed into Mary, and birthed Him into this earth, that He might save mankind. I love verse 17 as much as verse 16! God didn’t send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved! Spectacular! Love so freely released and so abundant, it was capable of being extended to the entire world, for ages to come.
Here’s another power packed duo of verses about God’s love for us:
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
On that day, when our Savior was born, the Spirit of Love was made manifest! God would now be able to tangibly touch His people with love in a way that He had not been able to touch them before. No more do we need to have a fearful, we can’t say His name because it’s too holy, outlook on the God of the universe! He is now touchable, relatable, and visible. No more standing afar off from Him because He came to be up close and personal. No more wondering what He meant, or if He could really love us, because He came to assure us of this truth! We are loved by God and He wants us to know it!
Paul wrote in Ephesians chapter 3, that his heart was that we would know the love of God which passes all understanding. That love brought Jesus from heaven to earth! That agape love, that is unconditional, not based on us, but on Him, was released in a profound way, on the day Jesus was born!
Jesus was a wonderful example of love when He walked this earth. He demonstrated daily a new kind of love. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus didn’t say, “I love you” with His words. But His actions spoke loud and clear of His love. When the widow of Nain was headed to the burial sight with her own son, Jesus didn’t say, “I love you” with His words, but His actions expressed His love with no problem. The way He cared for people, the way He embraced men, women, and children, the way He reached out to the “commoners” and the “sinners” without judgment; all demonstrated His love.
Looking at Jesus’ life, He taught us how to love:
- He said that anyone could love a friend, but when we loved our enemies, that was a real demonstration of love.
- He said that there is no greater love, than the love of a friend, who will give His life for you. Then He died for us!
- He said that we are not to just love our neighbors as ourselves, but love as He loved us. His love was without strings attached!
- He taught us that forgiveness is steeped in love. That’s why He is so willing to forgive us.
- He taught us that love will cause us to serve and obey Him, as it caused Him to serve and obey the Father.
- He taught us that serving one another was an expression of love, and He washed His disciples feet!
- And He said that if we want others to really believe that we are His, then we would show love to one another.
Can I just say that in this climate, in which we find ourselves in America, with the political unrest, we need love sweet love. We have allowed our allegiance to political parties and individuals to override our love for one another. In the past weeks I have heard several different messages, from different ministers, reminding us of the words of Jesus: “By this all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another!” John 13:5
I believe God is speaking! I know He is speaking to my heart. I believe He is speaking to the hearts of His people. What we need right now in America is a move of the Spirit of Love, upon the church, then upon the land. We need to stop and think about how we look to Jesus, who taught us the true meaning of love, and how we look to the world, who don’t believe our God is real anyway.
This holiday is full of the Spirit of love. Love for family and friends, and love for the Savior, who came to this earth for us. But if we aren’t loving one another, than are we truly loving Him? Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song, “Love Take Me Over,” asking God to allow His love to take him over. Here is part of the chorus:
Love, take these words that I’m speaking
Love, take these thoughts that I’m thinking,
Love, take me over.
Today, ask the Spirit of love to overtake our hearts, His church, and our land like never before. The very last thing we want to see is our nation is another civil war. The very last thing we want to see is a greater divide in the Church. Spirit of Love begin to flow like never before! Wonderful Jesus!