Devotions

Delight in God’s Love

At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the Lord: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jeremiah 31:1-3 

A four year old little girl stood up in her seat at the restaurant and out of nowhere, she suddenly said, “Who would like a kiss?” Her mother was amazed at how trusting her daughter was and a little afraid someone would take her up on the offer. Without missing a beat, a customer said, “Now aren’t you the sweetest thing! You can just blow me a kiss.” Everyone in the restaurant smiled as the little girl simply blew them kisses. She was only four, but already delighted by love and trying to figure out how to offer it. Love in the world of human beings is often a roller coaster ride of feelings. It’s fun and exciting and dangerous and no one wants to get hurt. That’s what makes God’s love so incredible. The way God loves is about making a choice and not as much about feelings. It’s about commitment and sacrifice. God sent Jesus, who came in the flesh and gave his life so we’d know without a doubt that we are loved. Jesus didn’t have to come. He could have said no, but he chose to love us in the most authentic way possible by becoming one of us and by dying for us. God loves us with an everlasting love and has done everything he could to save his children and make a home for us in Heaven.  

God came as a tiny baby communicating a love for us that will never fail. It will never die. This love will never run out! His love changes us and makes us want to love others. Take time in this season to accept God’s invitation to become like a little child, trusting completely in his mercy and grace. God wants to personally connect with us, walk with us and talk with us. He wants to help us and to heal us. And when we recall God’s faithfulness praising him with carols and thanking him for all the good things he does for us, we have a chance to become like little children again. May we be awestruck in wonder at the coming of Jesus, delighting in God’s love and prepared to offer it to everyone we meet. 

Joy in the Goodness of God

"An angel of the Lord appeared­­ to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people." Luke 2:9-10 (NIV) 

Our scripture focus today is filled with paralleled emotions of fear and joy. I would like us to consider how these emotions interrelated. The angel appears to the shepherds in the fields and says to them, “Do not be afraid.”  Why would they be afraid? Maybe because out of no where this angel appears and gives them a message that seems very important and immediate?  

When I receive important news, I try to take time to process the information and respond accordingly. I think if I were one of those shepherds, I would be a little nervous by this encounter. And yet, the message is followed up with the promise of great news that will bring joy.  

Put into our context today, I believe we can study this passage and learn how to receive important news and refrain from being fearful as our first response. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to “trust in the Lord with all of our heart.” We are called to receive God’s message as we study and listen and know that everything that comes from God is good.   

In this season of Advent, let us prepare our hearts to receive the good news of Christmas Day and experience the joy that comes with the ultimate gift – Jesus Christ.    

Posted by Betsy Butler
Tags: devotion

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