John 3:1–17; 7:45–52; 19:38–40; Romans 5:8
In the final days before Christmas, most people are busy buying last-minute gifts, finishing decorating, and preparing for guests. At the center of the holiday hubbub amidst the flurry of activity is the tiny figure of the baby Jesus in the nativity set. Although often overlooked next to the lights of the Christmas tree and the colorful spread of wrapped gifts, the figure in the manger represents the essence of Christmas. Everything else is dispensable, mere wrapping to be torn away to reveal the true gift: the love of God in human form—Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” begins the most beloved verse in the Bible (John 3:16 NASB). No greater expression of love has been recorded in all the annals of time because no greater gift has been given. As commentator B. Milne explains:
If the depth of love is measured by the value of its gift, then God’s love could not be greater, for his love-gift is his most pre- cious possession—his only, eternally beloved Son. He could not love more.1
Such amazing love! Let’s pause from our busy pace for a moment of quiet reflection to prepare our hearts to receive God’s love.
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