Advent 4, Monday, December 22, 2014
When I was a young man and we were expecting our first child, I wanted to make something for that child so they would know how much I loved them from the time of their conception. I decided to knit a blanket for them. I didn’t know how to knit but I was willing to learn so that maybe my first child would know that I loved them. I worked long hard hours learning to knit and trying to get the creation large enough to be considered a blanket. Although I had no idea how long this would take when I started, I poured in the hours needed to make this blanket. Before the blanket really took shape it was time to go out to sea. Oh, have I mentioned, I was in the Navy at the time? I packed my yarn with all my stuff and headed out to sea. Over the next months I was gone, I worked on the blanket and endured a lot of kidding. With every minute I worked on the blanket I thought of my soon coming first child, I thought of the love that I felt for this new life, and hoped I would be able to convey my love to him or her. Shortly after getting back from sea we had a beautiful little girl. Knitting had allowed me countless hours to think about and love this little one even before her birth.
Did you know that God spends nine months knitting and preparing for the birth of each of his children! This is just a down payment on the time He is willing to spend on each of us over our life time. He is hoping that we will see the love and time he is willing to spend on each of us; time nurturing us and being our best friend.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV, I added the bold and underline.)
Advent 4, Tuesday, December 23, 2014
This passage was a special one for me it was one I came across on my quest to see if the God of the Old Testament was the same loving God of the New Testament. This is just one passage that reveals the extravagant love that God has for His creation.
In the beginning of this passage Moses is reminding the children of Israel of the covenant that God made with them. This passage really began to come alive to me when I got to verse 24-27. In verses 28-29 I saw the love that God has for his children. He said that He heard them and everything they said is good and then God’s heart shines through in verse 29. “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” The bold I added because this is where I felt all the emotion that God placed on this part. It was as if God was speaking it directly to me. The tenderness, compassion, and love that came through here was overwhelming. God wants everything to go well for his children forever! When God says forever He is the only one that really means Forever.
Do you believe this God of the Old Testament knit you together as a down payment for His love towards you and that He means for this to last forever? Try Him you won’t be disappointed.
Advent 4, Wednesday, December 24,2014
I heard a sermon from very excited Romanian preacher from Woodland, Washington. He was talking about the perfect love that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had for each other. Their love was so perfect and they wanted for nothing. They had perfect companionship, oneness, love, they were and are fulfilled. They are the perfect family. So as the Three-in-one were sitting around thinking and talking of their perfect love for each other and the wonderful existence that they had together they began to talk about wanting to share this extravagant love with others. That’s when they said to each other, “It’s time for us to have some children”. We, you and I, were conceived in love along with our whole world. So when the fall came, God was not willing to abandon his “love children”. He was willing to do whatever it took to restore that relationship; to fight for His creation. John 3:16, “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.” (NIV) Romans 5:6-8. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own (extravagant) love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV parentheses added for emphasis). When we were unlovable, God loved us. That is extravagant love! I think that from this example that extravagant love is an action verb. God moved because of this love. It demanded He do something.
Do you love like that? Do you believe this God of the Old Testament knit you together as a down payment for His love towards you, paid the price so that nothing could come between His love and us, and that He means for this to last forever? Does His love move you to action?
Advent 4, Christmas Day, 2014
This love that God has been showing us is great, His sacrifice at the cross unbelievable, but if he is dead (as many said when I was growing up) what can we expect now. What happened to this perfect family that conceived us in Love? Romans 8:11 “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
God did not leave His perfect family destroyed over our separation from Him. He restored the life of His Son and then gives life to us.
God’s plan was ready for all contingencies He was not about to let anything get in the way of His perfect family and the natural outcome of that family, His children.
Restoration of the family was something that God wanted. That required that His son be resurrected to complete the family again and we his children be given new life that we could participate in this perfect family.
We are a new creation bought and paid for by Jesus on the cross and share in a new life that He has risen to share with us. 2 Cor. 5:16-21 “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
The perfect family has been restored! Do you believe this God of the Old Testament knit you together as a down payment for His love towards you, paid the price so that nothing could come between His love and us, restored His perfect family by raising Jesus and us from the dead, and that He means for this to last forever?
Advent 4, Friday, December 26, 2014
The sermon of Peter in Acts 2:14-29 sums up this act of extravagant love. This is a passage you need to read with the thought of how God planned for us to remain in Him forever! We have the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will keep us to the end of the age. The power that raised Jesus and us from the dead will also keep us in the truth.
Verses 17-21 are a quote from Joel 2 assuring us that we can and will be saved if we call on the name of the Lord.
Verses 38-39 “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.’” (NIV) “all who are far off” That would be us, you and I we are named in the Bible it is for us!
Do you believe this God of the Old Testament knit you together as a down payment for His love towards you, paid the price so that nothing could come between His love and us, restored His perfect family by raising Jesus and us from the dead, gave us His Spirit so that we might have the power to live the life he designed us for, and that He means for this to last forever?
Take time today to read all of Peter’s sermon. This is the final piece of the plan for God’s love children. It is not the end it is the beginning for each and everyone of us. We are loved with an extravagant love that will take all of eternity to discover. Begin your journey today to discover just how much God really loves us.
This week’s devotions have been written by Bob Vail…