Pastor’s Blog Wk 12.24.18: Love Sick
LOVE is without question the greatest force in the universe. Without it, marriage is unfulfilling, songs are shallow, friendships are frivolous. Think about it, ever watch a movie without the underlying theme of love? You Got Mail, Titanic, all the Marvel & DC movies and even Star Wars all are driven by the story of love. Think of any movie worth watching and I bet it won’t take you long to see love weaved into the script. Remove love from the human story and it could be said that without love, life not only wouldn’t be worth living, it would be downright depressing.
Why? Why is something so profoundly seeded in the hearts of every human being so easily overlooked? As we approach Christmas, we are reminded of the greatest story of love ever told: that we were created by an all loving Father who made us with two remarkable, deep seeded needs: the need to love and to be loved. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that who so ever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Love is the essence of our salvation.
So powerful is our need for love that without it the heart grows sick. That’s why when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40
Jesus was, in essence, saying that the entire law and everything the prophets wrote about, our entire Bible, hinges on the need for us to love and to be loved. Today our prisons are overcrowded and there are an estimated 2.3 million prisoners in the U.S. alone. That means there are more people living in prisons than on college campuses. For those under the age of 50, the number one cause of death is overdose. Substance abuse is at an all-time high. Suicide is at the highest during Thanksgiving and Christmas, because people are love sick. The Bible says in the last days the love of many would grow cold and unless you live under a rock, we see daily reminders in society of the effects of a love that has grown cold.
But hope is not lost. God has not abandoned us to a world without love. He has not left us as orphans. I love how the Apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians 2:4-6, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
It is important for us to know in this season that without Christ, Christmas is as insignificant as a movie, song or marriage without love. For God is love (1 John 4:8).
Christmas has never been about a fat guy in a red suit, it’s not about presents under a tree, it’s not about how much we can give or get, but it’s about how much has been given to us. Love motivated the father to bankrupt heaven and take Gods most precious possession, His only begotten son and offer him up as a ransom for us. He did it while there was nothing desirable about us. So the father wrapped His son in flesh and gifted Him to us, Jesus Christ. And to all who would receive Him, gave him the right to be called the sons of God (John 1:12). All because of love.
Jesus restores to us the fellowship we had with the father from the beginning. A relationship in which we are free to love and to be loved. No other love will satisfy. To be joined together once again to the family of God. Jesus said, I’m not ashamed to call you brothers and sisters (Heb 2:11). We share in Jesus Christ’s inheritance as sons and daughters of the creator God. Now that’s a gift that all the gold and silver in the world couldn’t buy. That is our gift, a free gift that’s cost the Father everything. I pray this season that you have received this gift of God. I pray that you will open your heart so that God can heal your heart and give you hope. He loves us beyond human words or human expression. His love heals our love sick hearts.
Remember, Jesus is truly the only reason for the season.
- Date - December 24, 2018