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. John 3:16 (NIV)
Each December I look forward to stripping away the ordinary, everyday home decor so the holiday decorations can be displayed. This year, however, my eagerness turned to anxiousness as I felt overwhelmed. I just wanted it done! I spent a day climbing up and down stairs, going in and out of attics, opening every Christmas box and wishing I had done a better job of marking the contents. With all the decorations displayed, the Christmas tree was the last to be put together. No ornaments adorned it as I decided to leave the tree in its natural, ordinary state, for a while anyway.
As I sat there staring at the simple tree, I reflected back over the past few months. I had been rushing through the fall, trying to learn a new job, heading different committees, and taking a class. I had lost sight of what mattered. What was important to me? Sitting in the living room and staring at that simple tree reminded me of the extraordinary love that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has for me. Like that tree, I don’t need to adorn myself with achievements, knowledge or good deeds for Jesus to love me. I don’t have to have my act together for Jesus to love me.
The good news is that Jesus loves me, the real, ordinary, messed-up me.
The Advent season is a time to reflect and prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Christ. For me, this particular season is about refocusing on what is important, specifically the sacrificial love Christ has for me. This love isn’t the kind of love I can manufacture myself, but it can only come from Christ.
For God so loved the world, not just a few chosen “good” people, but the world, and that, thankfully, includes you and me! Because of His love for us, He sent His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish, but have everlasting life. This love is so wide and so deep I cannot fathom it, but I feel it every time God draws me to Him, every time He convicts me of my sin, and every time He nudges me back on His path. God sent His Son to die for me--messy, broken, ordinary me. His love has redeemed me and restored me.
Christ loves the real me, even without all those “adornments.”
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Action item |
Do you know the true love of Christ? He loved you before the beginning of time and desires nothing more than for you to know and believe in Him.
Dear Father, I’m so grateful You see the real me, and still love the real me. I oftentimes don’t feel very lovable, but I know Your love for me is full of grace, mercy, and restoration. Amen
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