As we come to our final week of Advent, on the 4th Sunday of Advent, we look to God’s love. When I was growing up, I knew God loved me. No doubt in my mind. And for most of my adult life, I knew God loved me. The problem is, I took God’s love for granted.
Do you take God’s love for granted?
On the outside, I walked with God, doing the right things. No major sin in my life. So, no real need to experience God’s love. His love was always there for me.
God decided I needed to experience God’s love.
My need for His love.
My need for Christ to be born on earth.
My need for Christ to die and pay the gruesome penalty for my sin.
Some of you know the past four years have been difficult with much rejection and abandonment by family members, churches and mission organizations. Although I continually turn to God to see me through my grief and pain, I have not always reacted in a Godly way.
- I’ve said things to family members that I wish I could take back.
- I’ve texted truth, but in the wrong attitude. In a proud, demanding attitude.
- I’ve had too much wine and said the wrong things.
- I’ve not respected my husband.
- I had an emotional explosion at the Thanksgiving family dinner.
- I’ve gossiped about those who rejected me…in the name of healing or asking for prayer. Talking behind their back.
Because of these sins, I need God’s love. His love that shed Jesus blood to take away the penalty, the shame, the guilt.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
God’s love for us is NOT a transaction. I do something for God, so He does something for me. I obey Him, so He sends Jesus to save me from my sin.
That’s the world’s love, and oftentimes, it’s the believer’s way of loving. Think about your marriage. Are you keeping a checklist, a tit-for-tat list? If so, you have transaction love for your spouse.
Even with our kids, especially when they get older, we have transaction love for them. They rebel and we get frustrated, cutting them off.
God’s love is so different.
God’s love is gift love.
As C.S. Lewis says, gift love is entirely depending on the giver. The giver (God) gives His love, expecting nothing in return. That’s what God did when He sent Jesus to be born on Christmas Day.
You only have to receive God’s love. That’s it!
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by (your) works, so that no one can boastEphesians 2:8-9
The opposite of earning God’s love by doing the right things or trying to keep a list of your good works, is to “let it be”. You and I need ONLY let God be in our lives.
Look at Mary’s response to the angel, when she was told of her pregnancy.
Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”Luke 1:38
She received the gift God gave her, the gift of giving birth to Jesus Christ, our Savior.
On this 4th Sunday of Advent, are you trying to earn God’s love or simply receive it? Letting God be and do in your life. Letting God give you His love with NO strings attached.
4th Sunday of Advent:
Kids Teaching Idea om Love
To share the idea of God’s gift love during this week in Advent, discuss the idea of Christmas gifts.
- Demonstrate by giving your child a gift at the dinner table. When they take the gift, discuss how they received the gift. That’s all they had to do.
- Do you have to do anything to earn your gift? This is not the time to talk about being naughty or nice for Santa, just the opposite of God’s love
- Relate this to God “giving” His love to each of you in your family.
How do you love? How will you share God’s love with your kids today, the 4th Sunday of Advent?